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Game 36: New Orleans Pelicans look to atone against Dallas Mavericks

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The Pels absolutely must close out a game properly.

NBA: New Orleans Pelicans at Dallas Mavericks Andrew Dieb-USA TODAY Sports

The New Orleans Pelicans (15-20) will look to snap their five-game losing streak against a very familiar foe, the Dallas Mavericks (16-17). The Pels lost to these Mavs just 48 hours ago by a final score of 122-119. Once again, a contest came down to late-game execution and the Pelicans were left holding the short end of the stick. Luka Doncic sank three crucial free throws while Anthony Davis missed a couple of three-pointers.

We’ve talked ad naseum about clutch time minutes. You guys are sick of hearing about it. YET it remains the biggest problem because time and again it’s kept New Orleans out of the win column.

Despite sitting five games under .500, the Pelicans have a positive point differential of 27 points. If one was to remove the 50 minutes of clutch time basketball (minutes spent when the difference in the score is five points or less with five minutes or less to go in a game), the Pelicans point differential would jump up to +72. That would slot New Orleans right in between the Los Angeles Lakers (+75) and the San Antonio Spurs (+69) — two teams who are a combined nine games over .500.

So close... yet so far away.

For more on today’s matchup, please read Preston’s preview here.

Where To Watch

What: New Orleans Pelicans vs Dallas Mavericks

Where: Smoothie King Center

When: Wednesday, December 28, 2018, 7:00 p.m. Central

How: FSNO, NBATV, 99.5 FM WRNO

Spread: -4.5