DALLAS (AP) — Dirk Nowitzki shook off an early shoulder issue to finish with 18 points, New Orleans All-Star Anthony Davis was knocked out of the game with a similar problem and the Dallas Mavericks beat the Pelicans 108-89 Wednesday night.
Nowitzki went to the locker room 31 seconds into the game holding his left shoulder but emerged a short time later and returned to the game. He even had a spin move and finished with a left-handed finger roll in the first half.
Davis, the leading scorer and rebounder for the Pelicans, was holding his sprained left shoulder on his way to play defense and didn't return after leaving the game during a New Orleans timeout with 4:13 left in the first half.
The Mavericks (36-23) are a season-high 13 games over .500 after their fourth straight win, and the Pelicans stayed winless since the All-Star break at 0-5.
The injury to Davis is the latest in a litany of them for the Pelicans, who could be without three of their top four scorers.
Second-leading scorer Ryan Anderson is likely out for the season with a herniated disk. Jrue Holiday, another double-digit scorer and New Orleans' assists leader, is sidelined after breaking his right shin in early January.
Davis, who averages 20 points and 10 rebounds per game and leads the NBA in blocked shots, was sharp early to help the Pelicans build an eight-point lead. He had six points to go with a game-high nine rebounds and two blocks in just 12 minutes.
But during the second half, he was on the bench with his left arm in a sling.
Even when they had Davis on the floor, the Pelicans couldn't protect the ball while getting swept in the four-game season series with Dallas. They had a season-high 19 turnovers after committing at least 16 in each of the previous three meetings.
One of New Orleans' turnovers ended with a pass to Nowitzki standing alone under the basket for a dunk and an 84-69 lead early in the fourth quarter.
Nowitzki was 7 of 13 from the field two nights after he hit his first game-winning shot at the buzzer since 2009 to beat the Knicks in New York and finish a 3-0 trip through the Eastern Conference.
The big German led the Mavericks with eight points in the third quarter, when they took their first double-digit lead. Dallas put away the game with a 15-2 run to start the fourth.
NOTES: New Orleans C Alexis Ajinca had 14 points and eight rebounds in his first game after setting career highs with 19 points and 12 rebounds in loss to the Los Angeles Clippers. ... Ellis led the Mavericks with eight points in the second quarter, when they turned an eight-point deficit into an eight-point lead before settling for a six-point edge at halftime.