Luca runs out: Pelicans eliminated from play-in contention with loss to Mavericks as Doncic scores 33

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Dallas Mavericks’ Luka Doncic (77) and Maxi Kleber (42) celebrate a 3-point basket scored by Doncic during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the New Orleans Pelicans in Dallas, Wednesday, May 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

DALLAS (AP) — Luka Doncic scored 33 points, Kristaps Porzingis added 19 in his return from injury and the Dallas Mavericks took a big step toward avoiding the play-in tournament with a 125-107 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans.

The Pelicans were eliminated from postseason contention while playing without four injured starters. Lonzo Ball was the latest as a scratch with a strained right thumb. Eric Bledsoe and Jaxson Hayes scored 15 points apiece for the Pelicans.

The Mavericks need a win or a loss by the Los Angeles Lakers to clinch at least the sixth seed in the Western Conference playoffs.

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