Davis, Cousins lead Pelicans past Mavericks 121-118

The Mavs will now try to kick-start a five-game road trip with a bounce-back win Wednesday in New Orleans.

The Kings have been in awful form and they're coming fresh off a 30-point blowout to the Jazz so it's hard for me to back them against a Pelicans team playing some of their best basketball of the season resulting in seven wins in their last 10 games.

The Mavericks, meanwhile, are without one of their front-court reserves.

Both marks are second on the team to Anthony Davis, who is putting up 27.9 points and 12.0 boards per game. It's been well-documented that the draft is loaded with point guard talent, and there are some marquee names hitting free agency there, as well, including the Pelicans' Jrue Holiday.

Dante Cunningham finished a point shy of his season high in scoring, coming off the bench to tally 15.

DeMarcus Cousins was traded from the Sacramento Kings to the New Orleans Pelicans earlier this season and on Friday he'll face his former team for the first time. As a team, the Pelicans shot 50 percent from the field and 12 of 30 from the three-point line as they took an 11-point lead into halftime before holding on for the victory as the Mavericks poured on 67 points in the second half.

However, the team's offense was there to pick up the slack all night. He has also been quite efficient, shooting 57.6 percent while doing damage from all over the floor. But you know there's going to be a little extra motivation for him on Friday to...come out, play hard and get a win.

Cousins: "What am I expecting from tomorrow?" "We're better than that, especially defensively". "But if you're going to get a great player like DeMarcus, you're going to have to give up something of value. I also know we could have done a lot better job and made the game easier on ourselves".

"We're not the team to take our bigs out because they have a small lineup", said Gentry. "I don't understand that anyway". It's not like when you play anyone else.

Much of the consternation centered on the defensive end.

"They for sure have a groove", Holiday said. "They are tough together and they stagger their minutes". They finish the season in Portland, but that's a lot of ground to cover with so few games to play. "Once they have a full training camp under them next year, if they stay healthy they are going to be a load". He plans to attend dinner with them Thursday and has arranged a suite for them at the Smoothie King Center for the game. He repeated a similar answer over and over and over: "It's just a chance for us to come out, play hard and get a win".

At the start of Texans training camp in 2014, former National Football League running back Arian Foster was just focused on being the best teammate he could be, reiterating the point 11 times in a 90-second interview.

  • Joanne Flowers