- Associated Press - Sunday, November 27, 2016

DALLAS (AP) - Wesley Matthews shot the Dallas Mavericks back into the win column.

Matthews scored 12 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter, including eight during a rally that gave Dallas the lead for good, and the Mavericks beat the New Orleans Pelicans 91-81 on Sunday night to end an eight-game losing streak.

“I’m never worried about my shot,” Matthews said. “I know the time I put into it. I know the confidence that I have, and I know the team has confidence in me.”

He made all four field goal attempts, including 3 of 4 from 3-point range, in the fourth quarter.

Matthews made a 3-pointer and another basket to give Dallas a 72-71 edge with 5:39 remaining. New Orleans regained the lead on Anthony Davis’ two free throws, but for the last time because Matthews made another 3-pointer.

“His shot-making in the fourth was huge,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said. “He popped the game open and gave us some separation.

“He has an iron will. He just stayed into it.”

Dallas improved to 3-13, still the NBA’s worst record.

“Games like that, a couple of weeks ago we would have hung our heads, let a lead slip and let the team slip,” Matthews said. “But we held our ground, we stayed firm.”

Harrison Barnes led the Mavericks with 23 points. Justin Anderson scored 14 off the bench.

The Pelicans, who lost eight straight to begin the season, fell to 6-12.

“They outplayed us. They deserved to win. That’s the thought. That’s all that needs to be said,” Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said.

Davis, who had 36 points and 13 rebounds, was more expansive.

“We weren’t doing what our game plan was,” he said. “Harrison and Wes got a couple shots. It was our defense that killed us tonight.”

Jrue Holiday had 17 points and six assists for New Orleans.

Neither team led by more than two points during the game’s first 10 minutes. Dallas had an 11-0 run to go from trailing 17-15 to a 26-17 lead.

Davis scored 13 of New Orleans’ first 17 points, including 10 in a row.

Dallas led 44-42 at halftime, and the game was tied at 60-all after three quarters.

In the fourth, Holiday gave the Pelicans their biggest lead, six points at 68-62, with two 3-pointers.

TIP-INS

Pelicans: They made all 12 free throws in the first three quarters, but Davis missed two of six in the fourth. . The Pelicans were without F Dante Cunningham (fractured right fibula) and G/F Tyreke Evans (right knee injury). New Orleans recalled F Cheick Diallo from Austin of the D-League, but he did not play.

Mavericks: The 10-point winning margin was the largest lead in the game. . After shooting 38 percent from the floor in the first three quarters, Dallas was 10 for 17 (58 percent) in the fourth. The 3-point shooting improved from 25 to 67 percent (4 for 6).

NOWITZKI OUT

F Dirk Nowitzki (strained right Achilles tendon) did not play. He played in Dallas’ previous two games, but has missed 11 of their 16 games this season.

“Getting him better is going to have to take it incrementally,” Carlisle said. “It’s not as if there was any great setback. It’s not the right thing to play him tonight.”

UP NEXT

Pelicans: Return home to play the Lakers on Tuesday. New Orleans lost at home to Los Angeles 126-99 on Nov. 12 to fall to 1-9.

Mavericks: Finish a brief two-game homestand on Wednesday against the Spurs. The Mavericks lost 96-91 at San Antonio on Nov. 21.

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