New Orleans Pelicans get eliminated as Dallas Mavericks one-step closer to ensure playoff spot

Dallas Mavericks require just a single win to book at least the 6th spot in the Western Conference

Kristaps Porzingis and Luka Doncic

Luka Doncic knocked 33 points, while Kristaps Porzingis scored 19 points after his return from a long-term injury to lead the Dallas Mavericks one step closer into the playoff spot after a victory against depleted New Orleans Pelicans 125-107. 

The Dallas Mavericks can clinch at least the sixth seed in the Western Conference playoffs with a win in either of their two-remaining regular-season games against a pair of eliminated teams in Toronto Raptors and Minnesota Timberwolves. 

Dallas also avoids the play-in tournament with a loss by the Los Angeles Lakers, who are currently playing NBA-worst Houston Rockets. 

Dallas Mavericks enter into the playoffs after emerging victorious against the New Orleans Pelicans 125-107 

Eric Bledsoe and Jaxson Hayes scored 15 points apiece for the New Orleans Pelicans, whose hopes took a huge hit last week when the club announced Zion Williamson was out indefinitely. Williamson and Ingram have averaged a combined 51 points per game. 

A night after matching his season low with 12 points in a blowout loss at play-in qualifier Memphis, Doncic scored 16 points on a 33-8 Dallas run that broke a 30-all tie starting with the final bucket of the first quarter. 

The young Dallas sensation was 5 of 5 from 3-point range in the second quarter, when the Mavericks scored a season-high 45 points. Doncic finished 7 of 15 beyond the arc and had eight rebounds and eight assists, including back-to-back alley op dunks for Porzingis and Tim Hardaway Jr., who scored 27 points.

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