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REPORT: Pelicans’ Nikola Mirotic out second-straight game with illness

Nikola Mirotic, Pelicans

The New Orleans Pelicans host the Dallas Mavericks Wednesday, but will once again be without the services of power forward Nikola Mirotic.

Mirotic is still dealing with an illness, according to head coach Alvin Gentry. The stretch forward didn’t play against the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday either.

In 22 games this season, Nikola Mirotic is averaging 18.9 points, 10.0 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game for the Pelicans. The 27-year-old is shooting 46.5 percent from the field, 36.4 percent from beyond the arc and 83.8 percent from the free-throw line.

The Pelicans’ offense operates better when Nikola Mirotic is on the floor. He stretches the court for them with this perimeter shooting and his shooting provides more driving lanes for point guard Jrue Holiday and more paint space for star big man Anthony Davis to work with.

New Orleans will start Julius Randle again in Mirotic’s place versus the Mavs. Randle scored 37 points on Monday against the Clippers, but the Pelicans lost by a final score of 129-126. The former Los Angeles Laker is averaging 18.3 points and 9.0 rebounds per game on the season.

The Pelicans enter Wednesday with a record of 12-13, 11th place in the Western Conference. After starting the season 4-0, New Orleans is just 9-13. The team need to get it together and get back on a winning streak. Unfortunately, they’ll have to try without Nikola Mirotic on Wednesday.