The New Orleans Pelicans notched their first victory of the exhibition season with a win over the Dallas Mavericks, 116-102. The Pelicans were led by the scoring efforts of Buddy Hield and E’Twaun Moore as both shooting guards chipped in 19 points on 8-12 from the field.
The Mavericks were led by Justin Anderson with 14 points and Harrison Barnes, in his debut for Dallas, added 12 points. Dirk Nowitzki, Andrew Bogut, Deron Williams and several other important members of their rotation failed to suit up so it’s wise to not get too carried away with tonight’s win.
Moore started quickly for the Pelicans, scoring the teams first 8 points. He would go on to finish with 19 points, a perfect 3-3 from three point range and 4 rebounds.
Anthony Davis left his mark in limited action. He finished with 13 points and 3 rebounds in 12 minutes of the first half, keeping in line with the Pelicans plan of bringing him along slowly during the preseason.
Buddy Buckets followed up a solid performance in the Pelicans open scrimmage with a splendid preseason debut. In 25 minutes his line sparkled: 19 points, 3 threes, 6 rebounds, 3 assists and 1 steal. Although he had 4 turnovers, he looked much more comfortable on the floor than he did at any time during the 2016 Summer League.
In nearly 30 minutes of action Terrence Jones posted 17 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 blocks. He made 5-8 shots from the field, including 2-3 from beyond the arc. According to those who watched the game in its entirety (I tuned in around halftime), he started very slowly but obviously turned things around in the second half. However, I must mention that one play in particular bothered me: when he attempted to make too flashy of a pass to Lance Stephenson (I think?) that resulted in a terrible turnover.
Speaking of Lance, he finished with 10 points, on 5-8 from the field, 4 rebounds and 3 assists. He did, however, attempt several shots following shake-and-bake moves — likely not a coach’s favorite. In addition, his 3 turnovers and 6 personal fouls should cause eyebrows to arch considering the 23 minutes of playing time, though, it should be said he finished with the second best +/- on the night (+22).
The Pelicans point guard tandem performed quite admirably, committing just one turnover in their 48+ minutes of action. Langston Galloway, the starting point guard, finished with 11 points, 2 threes, 3 rebounds and 4 assists. Tim Frazier added 10 points, 9 assists and 6 rebounds.
As well as the guards played, Solomon Hill was invisible (0 points, 1 rebound and 4 assists in 19 minutes) and Alexis Ajinca (6 points, 5 rebounds) managed a -13 +/- in just 14 minutes of play. Omer Asik, although he scored just 2 points and grabbed 4 rebounds, managed to have a stronger impact as evidenced by a +18 +/-.
The only two healthy DNP’s on the night were Alonzo Gee and Robert Sacre.
The Pelicans will next play the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday, October 4th, inside the Smoothie King Center. The game will tip off at 7pm local time.