Pelicans-Mavericks Preview

The Associated Press

Things just keep getting worse for the New Orleans Pelicans. First, it was Ryan Anderson and then Jrue Holiday. Now it's Tyreke Evans who's hobbled.

With injuries continuing to hamper them, the Pelicans will try to avoid a season-worst fifth straight loss when they visit Dallas for the back end of a home-and-home set with the Mavericks on Saturday night.

New Orleans (15-20) learned before Friday's 107-90 home loss to the Mavericks that Holiday will be sidelined indefinitely with a stress fracture in his tibia. The point guard is averaging 14.3 points and 7.9 assists for the Pelicans, who were already without leading scorer Anderson (19.8 ppg) because of a herniated disk.

Holiday, who said he was likely playing with the injury before the pain became too much to handle, is using a stabilizing boot to walk and expects to be re-evaluated in about a month.

Evans, who averages 13.0 points, became the latest to get sidelined when he re-injured his left ankle after playing less than 10 minutes against Dallas. He was scoreless and did not return, but his status for Saturday's game is unknown.

"The Mavericks were aggressive (on Friday)," Evans said. "Our energy was down, but we have another match at their place so hopefully we can beat them next time. We'll bring more energy next time."

Dallas (21-16) came out strong and scored 62 points in the first half, eventually leading by as many as 23 in the third quarter before cruising. Dirk Nowitzki scored 24 points and Monta Ellis had 23 points and eight assists for the Mavs, who made a season-high 14 3-pointers on 28 attempts.

New Orleans has allowed 60-point first halves three times recently, giving up 61 to Minnesota on Jan. 1 and 61 to Washington on Jan. 8.

The Mavs were crisp all around with 32 assists on their 41 field goals and shot 52.6 percent from the field.

"We got a win and we feel good. We've got another one (Saturday)," Ellis said. "We'll see if we can come out with another one."

It was the second win in the last five games overall for Dallas, which bounced back from a 112-90 loss at San Antonio on Wednesday.

Eric Gordon scored 27 points for New Orleans, while Anthony Davis added 21 points, 13 rebounds and five blocked shots. Second-year pro Brian Roberts started in Holiday's place and finished with nine points and seven rebounds.

The Pelicans, who also dropped four in a row from Dec. 15-21, have allowed the opposition to shoot 49.5 percent during the current losing streak, and the 14 3-pointers allowed in Friday's opener were a season high.

"We just had some lackluster plays. They hit a number of 3s off of our mistakes," New Orleans coach Monty Williams said. "A couple of them were tough shots, but I can recall a number of them that just happened because of the mistakes that we made. Obviously we missed Jrue, but you can't do anything about that. He is out."

The victory extended the Mavericks' overall win streak against New Orleans to five. Dallas has won 17 of its 19 regular-season home games against the Pelicans franchise since it relocated from Charlotte prior to the 2002-03 season.

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