DALLAS (AP) Rookie Jordan Hawkins scored a season-high 34 points in his 11th start to lead seven New Orleans players in double figures as the Pelicans beat the Dallas Mavericks 118-108 on Saturday night in a game in which most of both teams’ regular starters weren’t in uniform.

Herb Jones scored 15 points and Jonas Valanciunas had 14 points and a game-high 12 rebounds for the Pelicans, who split a back-to-back after losing at Denver 125-113 on Friday night and getting into their Dallas hotel at about 4:30 a.m.

“No matter what time we get in, so long as there’s a basketball on the court, we’re gonna hoop,” said Hawkins, the 14th overall draft pick last summer from UConn. “I had a good opportunity to play, so I had to take it.”

“He was terrific,” Pelicans coach Willie Green said of Hawkins. “He was locked in from the very start of the game. His game-plan discipline was off the charts. His ability to hit shots, but not only hit shots but continue to make the right play on both sides of the basketball.”

Hawkins hit six 3-pointers, one short of his season’s best, on 12 shots.

Valanciunas also led the Pelicans with seven assists after playing 26 minutes the night before.

Kyrie Irving led the Mavericks with 33 points followed by Tim Hardaway Jr. and Derrick Jones Jr. with 24 each.

In the past week at home, the Mavericks have beaten first-place Minnesota, lost to undermanned Memphis, won a shootout with New York and lost to a New Orleans team sitting three starters.

“We just couldn’t compete,” Dallas coach Jason Kidd said. “Our physicality wasn’t there.”

Asked why not, Kidd said, “You have to ask them. I’m just the coach.”

The Pelicans, after hitting 4 of 14 3-pointers in the first half, hit 7 of 9 from deep in the third quarter to outscore the Mavericks 39-27 and pull ahead for good 88-81.

Dallas superstar Luka Doncic missed his second consecutive game for the first time this season because of an ankle sprain. Dante Exum (plantar fascia) missed his sixth consecutive game, and rookie Dereck Lively II (ankle) missed his fifth straight for Dallas.

Doncic is second in the NBA in scoring (33.6 points), fourth in assists (9.1) and fifth in minutes played (36.8), all career highs. He’s also the Mavericks’ leading rebounder (8.1).

The Pelicans played without Zion Williamson (rest), Brandon Ingram (Achilles) and CJ McCollum (ankle). It was the fourth time in six Pelicans’ back-to-back finales so far this season that Williamson was held out.

With top reserve Trey Murphy III also out (knee), the Pelicans were missing two-thirds of their scoring.

Reserve Maxi Kleber, out since Nov. 8 with a fractured toe, returned for Dallas. Kleber had two points and two rebounds in 11 minutes.


The teams will remain in Dallas and meet again on Monday.


AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA

Copyright 2024 STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.