Notebook: Mavericks 104, Hornets 100



Posted Feb 23, 2013 12:18 AM

By Bradley Handwerger, For NBA.com

THE FACTS: It took nearly the entirety of the game's 48 minutes, but the Dallas Mavericks found a way to put away the New Orleans Hornets, winning 104-100 on the road Friday night.

Mike James and Vince Carter hit back-to-back 3-pointers with less than a minute to play, and former New Orleans Hornet Darren Collison sank two free throws to give the Mavericks (25-29) their sixth win in the past eight games. Dallas' Dirk Nowitzki led all scorers with 25 points, while Carter scored 22 off the bench. Carter's 3-pointer that gave the Mavericks the lead for good wasn't the called play. Instead, Nowitzki motioned to the veteran to take the shot and he did, quieting the more than 16,000 in attendance. On the ensuing possession, O.J. Mayo trapped New Orleans' Eric Gordon on the sideline near midcourt. Gordon lost the ball out of bounds with 5 seconds to play and Collison hit his two free throws to put the game out of reach with just 3.1 seconds to play.

Gordon led the Hornets (19-37) with 23 points, but scored only three points in the second half on 1-for-9 shooting. Jason Smith set a season high with 22 points and Ryan Anderson added 20 points and 12 rebounds.

QUOTABLE: "The way Vince [Carter] has reinvented himself with us -- as an off-the-bench, instant-offense, playmaker, defender, all-around guy -- I think validates him as a Hall of Fame candidate. He's an eight-time All-Star."

-- Dallas coach Rick Carlisle

THE STAT: Seventeen. Dallas had 17 blocked shots against New Orleans, including seven by Bernard James. While those certainly made a difference, the play that won't show up in the stat box is when James redirected a shot by Greivis Vasquez with 22 seconds to play. James touched the ball enough to make it fall short of the rim. Carter hit his 3-pointer on the next possession to seal it.

TURNING POINT: Back-to-back 3-pointers by the Mavericks with less than 55 seconds to play put the Hornets on their heels. First, former Hornets player Mike James sank a corner trey. After a bad offensive possession by New Orleans, Carter quieted the crowd with a clutch 3-pointer in front of New Orleans' bench. The 3-pointers put Dallas ahead for good.

QUOTABLE II: "Down the stretch tonight, you are up four, you have the ball in your guard's hands and you can't make plays. You can't blame anybody but yourself and that is basketball 101."

-- Hornets coach Monty Williams

HOT: Smith finished Friday's game 9-for-15 for a season-high 22 points for New Orleans. In the past six games, Smith -- a key reserve off the bench - has been on a tear, going 28-for-51 from the floor.

GOOD MOVE: Leaving Mayo in the game at the end in spite of his inability to play consistent offense. Mayo, a long and active guard, harried the Hornets' Gordon in the final 10 seconds, causing him to fumble the ball out of bounds in a play that sealed the game for Dallas.

NOTABLE: Hornets rookie Anthony Davis left the game in the third quarter with a sprained right knee. He returned to the bench and could have returned to the game, but Williams said he didn't want to risk furthering the injury. ... Dallas shot 65.2 percent in the first quarter and 59.1 percent in the third quarter to put the Hornets on their heels. ... With Smith scoring 20 points 22 points and Anderson scoring 20, Friday night marked the first time since May 5, 1999, that two Hornets players scored 20 points off the bench in the same game. ... Dallas forced 10 second-half turnovers by New Orleans.

UP NEXT: For the Hornets, Sunday vs. Sacramento, Tuesday vs. Brooklyn, Wednesday @ Oklahoma City. For the Mavericks, Sunday vs. Lakers, Tuesday vs. Milwaukee, Wednesday @ Memphis.