New Orleans — The Pelicans came-up short in Friday night’s home opener, losing to the Dallas Mavericks 123-116. New Orleans came out of the gates strong, leading 41-27 after the opening quarter in which they had 14 of their 30 total assists in the game, but they were out-scored 45-23 in the second quarter to trail 72-64 at the half. It was even in the second half, but Dallas pulled away in the final minute to steal one from the Pelicans on their home court.
“We’re a long, long way from panicking,” said Pelicans Head Coach Alvin Gentry. “I think the one thing that bothered me is that it’s so important to establish home court in the NBA. I just think giving away home games in situations like this usually come back to haunt you.”
Brandon Ingram led the way with 25 points, as one of 5 Pelicans players in double figures. Derrick Favors and Josh Hart each added 16 points while Lonzo Ball finished with 15. Similar to their first game, the every single Pelicans player scored at least 3 points. Across the board after the game, everyone spoke about how they’re just two games into the season and still developing team chemistry.
“It’s just timing,” Ball said. “The more practice we get you know it’s going to be better for us. We pretty much have a brand new team. We have a lot of talent which is good but we’ve got to play together to get wins.”
“New line-ups, new situations, new team,” said Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday. “There’s always a positive. The last two games we were in it at the end so just got back to the film and see what we can do.”
“It’s still early in the year,” said Pelicans guard Frank Jackson, who finished with 10 points. “Everyone’s getting into a rhythm. There’s 9 new guys on the team this year. We’re still figuring it out.”
Luka Doncic led the Mavs with a triple-double of 25 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. Kristaps Porzingis finished with 24 points.
The Pelicans (0-2) now have their first back-to-back of the season, traveling to take-on the Houston Rockets Saturday night.