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Dallas Mavericks rout Pelicans, bolster playoff positioning

May 12, 2021; Dallas, Texas, USA; Dallas Mavericks center Kristaps Porzingis (6) shoots over New Orleans Pelicans guard Nickeil Alexander-Walker (6) during the second quarter at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Luka Doncic scored 33 points as the host Dallas Mavericks moved closer to clinching one of the top six spots in the Western Conference and eliminated the New Orleans Pelicans from play-in contention with a 125-107 victory Wednesday night.

Doncic bounced back from a 12-point, 4-of-16 shooting performance in a loss at Memphis on Tuesday to score 17 points in the second quarter as Dallas started the period with a 26-5 run on its way to a 77-58 halftime lead.

The Mavs increased the lead to 31 points in the third quarter and held a 111-80 lead at the end of the period.

Tim Hardaway Jr. added 27 points, Kristaps Porzingis returned from a seven-game absence due to right knee soreness to score 19 and Dwight Powell had 12 points as Dallas (41-29) remained in fifth place in the West after winning for the fifth time in six games.

Eric Bledsoe and Jaxson Hayes scored 15 each, Nickeil Alexander-Walker and Kira Lewis Jr. added 13 each, Willy Hernangomez had 12 points and 10 rebounds, Naji Marshall scored 12 and James Johnson had 11 for New Orleans.

The Pelicans (31-39) played without four injured starters as Lonzo Ball (thumb) joined Zion Williamson (finger), Brandon Ingram (ankle) and Steven Adams (foot) on the sideline.

Porzingis scored 12 points to help the Mavs take a 32-30 lead at the end of the first quarter.

Doncic had eight points as Dallas scored the first 10 points of the second quarter.

Hayes ended the run with a tip-in, but Willie Cauley-Stein scored the next five points.

Doncic made two more 3-pointers as the Mavs extended the lead to 58-35 midway through the period.

Dallas led by as many as 25 points before Alexander-Walker beat the buzzer with a layup that trimmed the Mavs’ lead to 77-58 at halftime.

–Field Level Media