Mavs hang on after Doncic hurt, hand Pels 10th straight loss

DALLAS (AP) — Luka Doncic scored 31 points before leaving with a right heel injury, and the Dallas Mavericks held on without their All-Star for a 111-106 victory over New Orleans on Thursday night, handing the travel-weary Pelicans their 10th consecutive loss.

Doncic stayed in the game after taking a hard fall in the third quarter when he was winding up for a one-handed dunk on a drive and Brandon Ingram knocked the ball out of his hand as Doncic was bumped by Jonas Valanciunas.

Ingram was called for a foul, and New Orleans successfully challenged. Doncic returned after the break for the review, but after one trip down the court, the 23-year-old star screamed in frustration as he limped to the locker room without looking at the Dallas bench.

The Mavericks were up by 27 points when Doncic exited with 6:47 remaining in the third, and the lead was all the way down to four when Herbert Jones hit a layup with 58 seconds left in the game.

Ingram, who scored 26 points, missed a jumper that would have cut the deficit to two, and the Mavericks made enough free throws in the final seconds to keep the Pelicans from having a chance to tie.

New Orleans (26-27) dropped below .500 for the first time this season after arriving on the day of the game because wintry weather in Dallas had the team stuck in Denver since Tuesday night.

New Orleans, which finished a three-game trip, has been without All-Star Zion Williamson throughout its longest losing streak since a 13-game skid before the pandemic paused the 2019-20 season. Williamson missed his 16th game with a right hamstring strain.

Spencer Dinwiddie scored 21 points, and Josh Green scored nine of his 15 points after Doncic exited.

It was the second game back for Doncic after he missed all but three minutes on a two-game trip with a sprained left ankle.


Pelicans: C.J. McCollum had 19 points and eight assists. ... Larry Nance Jr. had 10 points and 12 rebounds.

Mavericks: F Davis Bertans exited with a left calf strain in the first half and didn’t return. ... F Christian Wood (fractured left thumb) and F/C Maxi Kleber (torn right hamstring) have been cleared to practice and will make the upcoming five-game road trip. Coach Jason Kidd said Wood was the only one with a chance to play on the trip.


Pelicans: A four-game homestand starts Saturday against the Lakers, with LA's LeBron James closing in on the NBA's all-time scoring record.

Mavericks: At Golden State on Saturday to start their second five-game trip in about a month. It's Dallas' first visit since the Warriors advanced to the NBA Finals with a Game 5 win over the Mavs in the Western Conference finals. Dallas won the first meeting this season in November.


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Schuyler Dixon, The Associated Press