Mavericks-Pelicans Preview

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After coming up just short against the reigning NBA champs, the Dallas Mavericks took care of business their last time out. They'll now try to contain Anthony Davis, who posted eye-popping numbers in the New Orleans Pelicans' season-opening win. The visiting Mavericks go for an eighth consecutive victory in the series as these Southwest Division rivals square off Saturday night. Dirk Nowitzki and Chandler Parsons scored 21 points apiece to lead seven Mavericks in double figures in Thursday's 120-102 win over Utah. Former Pelicans forward Al-Farouq Aminu added 16 points and 10 rebounds off the bench as Dallas (1-1) led wire-to-wire. "We are going to need balance and we are going to need a lot of guys to contribute," coach Rick Carlisle told the team's official website. "That is what this season is going to be about." The Mavericks shot 55.3 percent, held a 52-28 scoring edge in the paint and had 25 assists after finishing with 17 in Tuesday's 101-100 loss at San Antonio. "We were moving the ball," Parsons said. "Our wings were running the floor and getting to the corners, and that allows our guards to get into the paint so much easier. You have to pick your poison with us. ... We have a lot of ways to hurt you." Dallas beat visiting New Orleans 108-89 in the last matchup Feb. 26. The Pelicans took a 27-20 lead into the second quarter before losing Davis, who averaged 24.5 points and 13.5 rebounds in the previous two meetings, to a shoulder injury with 4:13 left in the first half. Davis also filled the box score in Tuesday's 101-84 win over Orlando with 26 points, 17 rebounds, a career high-tying nine blocks and three steals. "If he gets (10 blocks) naturally, great, but that's not our focus and that's not his focus," said coach Monty Williams, who subbed Davis out to a standing ovation with 2:29 to play. "I'm sure he'll take a win over a triple-double any time." Omer Asik had 14 points, 17 rebounds and five blocks in his Pelicans debut, and he and Davis combined for 16 of the team's 26 offensive boards. "We just know that we're a load in that paint - him with his great body and me able to move around, just try to follow the ball and get rebounds," Davis said. "It's a good combination." Ryan Anderson finished with 22 points and nine rebounds off the bench after missing the final 51 games last season due to a herniated disc. He went 3 of 6 from 3-point range while the rest of the team was 1 for 11. "Out of shape a little ... we are feeling it out," he said. "It's good that we got this win. It's good that we showed how well we can play. We can get better, we can play even better. But we did a great job rebounding and playing defense. That's what this team can do." Mavericks guard Monta Ellis averaged 24.0 points in the last three meetings against the Pelicans in 2013-14. Nowitzki scored 40 in a 110-107 win at home Jan. 11.