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HomeSportMcCollum, Murphy lead Pelicans past Mavs

McCollum, Murphy lead Pelicans past Mavs

No Ingram. There is no Zion. No Herb.

It doesn’t matter.

The New Orleans Pelicans overcame the loss of two All-Stars and best guard to improve to 3-1 after the season with a 113-111 win at the Smoothie King Center on Wednesday night Visiting Dallas Mavericks.

Trey Murphy III started Brandon Ingram and led the Pelicans with 22 points on 8-for-8 shooting. , including all four of his 3-pointers and two free throws.

In four games, Murphy is averaging 15.5 points and 6.5 rebounds while shooting 68 percent from beyond the arc and almost 63 percent overall.

In true teamwork, New Orleans had eight players scoring in double figures. This is the fifth time they have accomplished this feat in franchise history.

CJ McCollum failed to find an early shot, but was strong for the second straight game, with seven of his 14 appearances in the final 12 minutes. McCollum also had 11 assists, his second straight double-double.

Jonas Valanciunas had 13 points and 7 rebounds in 22 effective minutes.

Nagy Marshall (15 points) and Jose Alvarado (13 points, 3 assists, 3 steals) formed the starting lineup. Both had major contributions and the game scored different points.

Luka Doncic had 37 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists for Dallas. Spencer Dinwiddie (24 points) and Christian Wood (23) were the only other Mavs to reach double figures.

Alvarado set the tone early, set a career high in the first half and pushed the tempo as the Pelicans scored 66 points in the first two quarters while turning the ball over just once , shot over 62 percent from the field and led by two at halftime.

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Game tempo slowed in the second half as Dallas took control with a 13-0 run that stretched from 2:28 of the third to 10:18 of the fourth to rise 94-87.

Rookie Dyson Daniels ended the bleeding with two free throws, and New Orleans will start to fight back. Daniels had 11 points on an impressive 4-for-5 shooting while adding 3 rebounds, 3 steals, 2 assists and 1 block in 22 minutes. With 9:55 left, the score was down to 3. Just over a minute later, he made the only 3-pointer of the night to put the Pelicans within one point, 96-97.

Then he put the Pelicans back in the lead with a nice step-back jumper. Just hit the net, sending the SKC crowd into a frenzy.

Much-maligned Devonte Graham knocked down a 3-pointer to give New Orleans a 101-100 lead. Graham led the reserves with 14 points on the night.

Murphy followed with another three to extend the lead to four. The Pelicans couldn’t fall any further, with Larry Nance Jr. (11 points) putting the exclamation point on the valiant win, dunking on a nice assist from McCollum.

New Orleans shot 57.9 percent from the field and matched the Mavericks with 12 3-pointers and 44.4 percent from the field.

The Pelicans finished with 25 assists and just 14 turnovers without their two most valuable scorers and playmakers.

They won the fight in the low post, outscoring the Mavericks 56 inside points-54.

And, with the top scorer being moved to the starting spot, the Pelicans had 36 points off the bench, one point ahead of Dallas’ second unit.

The Pelicans’ depth was tested, and they passed with honors Wednesday night.

This experience should serve them well on their upcoming road trip.



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