NEW ORLEANS – The Dallas Mavericks’ 109-106 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans on Sunday marred a spectacular night by guard Monta Ellis.
Ellis scored 18 points in the first half on 8-of-11 from the field. Then he added another 18 points in the second half on 8-of-16 shooting.
"I thought it was breath-taking,’’ coach Rick Carlisle said of the show-stopping output from Ellis. "It was a great performance.’’
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A high-arching shot by Ellis put the Mavs ahead 106-105 with 12.3 seconds left. But four free throws by Anthony Davis accounted for the game’s final points.
"He had a great night,’’ forward Dirk Nowitzki said of Ellis. "Monta was terrific.
"He made every play down the stretch. We just couldn’t get that one stop really to put us over the top.’’
The Mavs were down 107-106 and Rajon Rondo was trying to inbound the ball to Ellis with 12 seconds left. However, Rondo’s pass was intercepted and Ellis never got that opportunity at a potential game-winning shots.
"It happens like that sometimes,’’ Ellis said. "It was a hard-fought game and they executed down the stretch and made plays and won the game.’’
Ellis, though, was relishing the thought of being in position to nail a game-winner.
"I was ready for it,’’ he said. "I love those moments.’’
Coach Rick Carlisle also was counting on Ellis to help the Mavs get out of the Smoothie King Center with a victory with a late basket.
Carlisle said: "It was just very unfortunate that we couldn’t get the ball in his hands on the last possession.’’
Games like Sunday’s is what Ellis is hoping will help him secure one of the seven reserve spots on the Western Conference All-Star team in time for the Feb. 15 midseason classic in New York. Those spots are chosen by the West coaches.
"I guess my hard work paid off, but I don’t think about it,’’ Ellis said. "I just let them do that.’’