STAR ROOKIE. Rookie Jordan Hawkins stars in the New Orleans Pelicans’ 118-108 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday night (Sunday in the Philippines, January 14). NEW ORLEANS PELICANS FACEBOOK PHOTO
In a game where both teams were missing key contributors from their regular starting lineups, rookie Jordan Hawkins emerged as the star for the New Orleans Pelicans, scoring a season-high 34 points to lead his team to a 118-108 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday night (Sunday in the Philippines, January 14).
Hawkins, making his 11th start, showcased his scoring prowess, hitting six 3-pointers and displaying a game-high level of intensity.
The 14th overall draft pick from UConn seized the opportunity to shine, leading the Pelicans to a back-to-back victory after a loss to the Denver Nuggets the previous night.
Pelicans coach Willie Green praised Hawkins for his performance, highlighting his game-plan discipline and ability to contribute on both ends of the court.
Commenting on Hawkins’ exceptional performance, Coach Graen noted that Hawkins displayed a high level of focus right from the beginning of the game. Graen highlighted Hawkins’ skill not just in scoring but also in consistently making the right plays on both ends of the court.
Joining Hawkins in the double-figure scoring column were Herb Jones with 15 points and Jonas Valanciunas, who notched 14 points and a game-high 12 rebounds.
Valanciunas also showcased his playmaking ability with seven assists, an impressive feat considering he played 26 minutes the night before in Denver.
Kyrie Irving led the Mavericks with 33 points, while Tim Hardaway Jr. and Derrick Jones Jr. contributed 24 points each.
Despite the individual efforts, the Mavericks struggled to find their footing, with coach Jason Kidd acknowledging their lack of physicality in the game.
The absence of key players impacted both sides, with the Pelicans missing Zion Williamson (rest), Brandon Ingram (Achilles), and CJ McCollum (ankle).
On the Mavericks’ side, Luka Doncic sat out his second consecutive game due to an ankle sprain, marking the first time this season he missed back-to-back contests. Dante Exum (plantar fascia) and rookie Dereck Lively II (ankle) were also sidelined for Dallas.
Despite the missing stars, the Pelicans capitalized on the opportunity, particularly excelling in the third quarter. After hitting only 4 of 14 3-pointers in the first half, they turned the tide by connecting on 7 of 9 attempts in the third quarter, outscoring the Mavericks 39-27 and taking control of the game.