NBA: Luka Doncic hurts heel, Mavericks still beat Pelicans
Luka Doncic scored 31 points before being sidelined by an injury midway through the third quarter and the host Dallas Mavericks held on to hand the New Orleans Pelicans their 10th consecutive loss, 111-106 on Thursday night.
Doncic scored 21 points as the Mavericks took a 40-22 lead after one quarter. He scored six in the second quarter and had four in the third, when he landed awkwardly after his shot was blocked by Brandon Ingram. After trying to play a bit longer, he went to the locker room for good with what the team called a right heel contusion.
Luka Doncic took a HARD fall on this drive vs. the Pelicans 😦
Doncic initially tried to stay in the game, but went back to the locker room in discomfort. pic.twitter.com/f4DPMfQPAt
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) February 3, 2023
Spencer Dinwiddie scored 21 points, Josh Green added 15 and Dorian Finney-Smith had 13 for Dallas, which was outscored 52-30 after Doncic’s injury.
Ingram scored 26, CJ McCollum added 19, Jonas Valanciunas had 16 points and 13 rebounds, Naji Marshall scored 11 and Larry Nance Jr. had 10 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Pelicans, who fell below .500 for the first time this season.
Finney-Smith started the third-quarter scoring with a 3-pointer that gave Dallas a 30-point lead before the Pelicans chipped away, reducing the deficit to 95-76 at the end of the period.
New Orleans got within nine points with four minutes remaining, but Green hit a 3-pointer to make it 106-94.
Ingram had three baskets and an assist during a 10-2 run that pulled the Pelicans within 108-104 with 57 seconds left. He made another jumper to trim the deficit to 109-106, but Dinwiddie made two free throws to seal the win.
Doncic made his first four field-goal attempts and had nine points as the Mavs took a 12-4 lead.
The Pelicans closed within four points before Doncic led a surge that gave Dallas a 21-point lead with two minutes left in the first. Nance beat the buzzer with a dunk that pulled New Orleans within 40-22 at the end of the quarter.
Jose Alvarado and Marshall had baskets that pulled New Orleans within 16 points early in the second quarter, but that was the closest the Pelicans got in the quarter.
Dallas took its biggest lead, 62-31, on a three-point play by Dinwiddie before Ingram scored six points down the stretch to trim the deficit to 70-43 at halftime.