Southwest Notes: Cuban, Pelicans, Rockets, Wood

Mavericks owner Mark Cuban spoke to his team prior to the club’s game against the Warriors on Saturday night, Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News writes.

Cuban addressed the locker room at the request of head coach Rick Carlisle, whose Mavs are now 3-7 in its last 10 games.

“He was just very encouraging about the entire situation,” Carlisle said. “He reiterated that we’ve had the toughest schedule in the league to this point, that we have an opportunity here and none of these games are going to be easy.

“He just wanted everybody to know that he was fully supportive of everything and everybody. Good stuff from the heart.”

The Mavericks defeated the Warriors 134-132 in the contest, led by Luka Doncic‘s 42 points, seven rebounds, and 11 assists. The team, which has been impacted by injuries, holds the second-worst record in the Western Conference at 10-14.

There’s more from the Southwest Division:

  • The Pelicans have emphasized the meaning of “trust” in recent games, Christian Clark of writes. New Orleans is on a three-game winning streak, and Stan Van Gundy, Zion Williamson, and others pointed to that as one reason why. “It’s just coming together and telling each other we trust each other to make the right play,” Williamson said. “Ultimately, I think it’s just trust with us.”
  • The Rockets are continuing to struggle with slow starts, Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle writes. Houston dropped a 116-106 contest to the Spurs on Saturday with another relatively slow start, causing the team to fight an uphill battle the rest of the game. The club is still 7-3 in its last 10 outings.
  • Houston will have to adjust without the likes of Christian Wood, who suffered a right ankle sprain last week and will be re-evaluated on a weekly basis, Feigen notes in a different story. The Rockets started DeMarcus Cousins on Saturday, who finished with 12 points and 11 rebounds. “You just go to know your personnel,” John Wall said. “It’s two different guys. It’s the game of basketball, knowing your guys and knowing where your guys like the ball and what type of position they like to be in. That’s my job, to make the game easier for him and put them in the right positions to be successful.”
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