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Nowitzki, Mavs ease past Hornets
New Orleans, LA (Sports Network) - Dirk Nowitzki can finally shave that gnarly beard.
Nowitzki and several Mavericks teammates vowed in February they would let their facial hair grow until Dallas' record reached the .500 mark, which had not been done since Dec. 12.
"It's been too long. My wife stopped kissing me some time in February. It felt good to shave again, especially when you think that we were ten games under. Nobody thought that we could actually fight back," Nowitzki said. "I'm proud of the guys, how could fight back. We won some close games, we won some big games and made it interesting all the way down the stretch."
Hitting that goal came later than planned with the postseason already out of reach, but Dallas completed it with Sunday's 107-89 victory over the Hornets.
Shawn Marion scored 21 points, Nowitzki added 19 and Brandan Wright and Vince Carter had 16 apiece for the Mavs, who have won four of their last five.
Ryan Anderson paced the Hornets with 20 points and 12 rebounds in the club's fourth straight loss.
"You don't want to go into the offseason with a bad taste in your mouth. You want to go out playing the way you want to play, playing hard and competing. We're all looking forward to Wednesday," Hornets guard Brian Roberts said.
Anderson opened the game's scoring with a 3-pointer, but the Mavs answered with the next 11 points and never trailed again.
Dallas was on top, 33-19, at the end of the first quarter and extended the margin to as many as 27 before heading to the break with a 62-40 cushion.
The Hornets pulled within 81-67 heading to the fourth, but a 9-0 Dallas run early in the final stanza put the game away.
With his 10th point, Nowitzki became the 17th player in NBA history to score 25,000 in his career ... Dallas had its streak of 12 consecutive postseason appearances come to an end ... Dallas finishes the season with a 17-24 road record ... The Hornets went 16-25 at home and end the season in Dallas on Wednesday.
04/14 23:25:07 ET