NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The New Orleans Pelicans entered the game as the NBA’s top 3-point shooting team. They couldn’t match the Dallas Mavericks’ long-range shooting Friday night.
Rookie guard Dennis Smith Jr. had his first career triple-double and the Mavericks made a franchise-record 22 3-pointers in a 128-120 victory.
“We got into a shot-making groove,” Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said.
Smith had 21 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. He was 5 of 7 from 3-point range and 8 of 12 overall.
“I almost had a quadruple-double because I had a lot of turnovers (seven),” Smith said. “My teammates picked me up and told me to keep playing. My jump shot was falling tonight and that opened things up for everyone else.”
Wesley Matthews made 4 of 7 3-pointers and scored 18 points, and Devin Harris hit 5 of 7 3-pointers and added 17 points to help Dallas win three consecutive games for the first time this season. Dwight Powell scored 15 points, J.J. Barea had 14 and Harrison Barnes and Dirk Nowitzki 13 each.
“We’re the epitome of a team that needs each other,” Carlisle said of the balanced scoring.
Anthony Davis led the Pelicans with 33 points. DeMarcus Cousins had 32 points and 20 rebounds, Jrue Holiday added 23 points, and E’Twaun Moore had 16.
“We didn’t play with any physicality,” Davis said. “They got easy layups, easy threes, a lot of dare shots in. They started getting hot because we allowed them to. We have to lock in defensively every night and the rest will take care of itself.”
At 20 years, 34 days, Smith became the third-youngest player in NBA history to have a triple-double, behind Lonzo Ball and LeBron James.
The Mavericks made 13 of 18 3-pointers as they built a 17-point halftime lead.
“You can’t give up 22 3s and you can’t have them shoot 55 percent from the field and 56 from 3 and think you’re going to win,” Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said. “You give up 77 in the first half, you’re going to put yourself in harm’s way.”
Holiday led a New Orleans push late in the third quarter, scoring seven of the Pelicans’ last 11 points in the period. That cut the Mavericks lead to 109-101 after three quarters.
Holiday made two free throws to cut the deficit to six at the outset of the fourth quarter, but Yogi Ferrell made a 3-pointer to give the Mavericks a 118-107 lead midway through the fourth.
Davis scored six consecutive points as New Orleans got within 118-115 with 3:38 left.
Nowitzki and Davis each made two free throws before Barea made consecutive 3-pointers to give Dallas a 126-117 lead with 1:57 left.
“We moved the ball really well,’ Harris said. “We didn’t care who shot it. We gave up good shots to get better ones.”
Mavericks: Dallas had its highest-scoring first half of the season. … The Mavericks’ bench outscored the Pelicans’ backups 60-10. … Dallas’ third consecutive victory gave it its longest winning streak of the season.
Pelicans: The Pelicans’ longest winning streak of the season ended at three for the third time. … New Orleans committed just eight turnovers compared to 18 for the Mavericks. … G Rajon Rondo came off a game in which he had a career-high 25 assists against Brooklyn and finished with eight assists.
Mavericks: At Oklahoma City on Sunday night.
Pelicans: Host New York on Saturday night.
For more NBA coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/NBAbasketball