Coming off a double overtime victory on Tuesday against the Sacramento Kings, the Dallas Mavericks defeated the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday 100-91 on the tail end of a back-to-back. Dallas (21-15) was without four of its five starters, as Deron Williams, Wesley Matthews, Dirk Nowitzki and Zaza Pachulia were all given the night off after playing over 40 minutes last night.
Nevertheless, the Mavericks’ bench led by forward Chandler Parsons orchestrated an impressive game and salvaged a split of the season series with the Pelicans (11-23.) Despite getting off to a slow start in the first quarter, Dallas weathered the storm thanks to Parsons, who had a 19 point first half on six of seven shooting. He finished the game with 21 points.
“[Parsons] could have easily said ‘Well there are four starters sitting out and I got bumped in the hip last night so I’m not going,'” head coach Rick Carlisle said. “But he didn’t. He was ready to go. And without him we wouldn’t have been able to do this.”
And while Parsons was crucial getting the offense going in the first half, the real hero down the stretch was guard Raymond Felton, who scored 12 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter, including a step back three which put the game out of reach.
“We just started making shots when we needed to,” Felton said. “It’s just the type of team we have. We aren’t the type of team where you can tell we haven’t been together. We make things happen.”
Dallas entered the locker room at halftime trailing 50-49, and found themselves down by as much as eight points in the third quarter. But Carlisle coached yet another masterful game shorthanded, rotating players in and out along with mixing and matching guys who do not normally play together.
“Nights like tonight, you never like sitting down four starters, but we felt it was necessary,” Carlisle said. “We also felt like we had enough depth to win the game. We just fought our way to a win,”
The Mavericks outscored the Pelicans 29 to 23 in the final quarter, including a late run that put them up by as much as 14 points with just over five minutes to play. New Orleans answered the bell, however, responding with a run of its own to cut the Dallas lead in half. But in the end, it was the Mavericks bench and utility players that came up big, primarily Felton, who eventually put the Pelicans away.
“We know we have a team that is 12 or 13 deep,” Felton said. “When guys are out, other guys step up. When guys are hungry, they make plays. It was a great win for us.”
Next Up: Dallas travels to take on the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday Jan. 8th. Tipoff is set for 7:00 p.m. CST.