NBA Game Summary - New Orleans at Dallas
(Monday, December 14th)
Final Score: Dallas 94, New Orleans 90
Dallas, TX (Sports Network) - Dirk Nowitzki saved his best for last, scoring eight of his season-low 10 points in the final quarter, as Dallas pulled out a 94-90 win over the New Orleans Hornets.
Jose Barea netted a season-high 23 points on 10-of-13 shooting, and Jason Kidd contributed 13 points and 13 assists for the Mavericks, who won their fourth straight game. Josh Howard contributed 14 points and eight rebounds.
The Mavs are 8-1 in games decided by five points or less.
"The big thing is that we are winning those close games," said Kidd. "We like when were in control and up in the fourth quarter where we're up 5, 7 or 10 where we doing always have to make a stop or get a basket down the stretch, but the big thing is that we've won a bunch of close games and that can only help us down the road."
Chris Paul had 20 points, 16 assists and five steals for the Hornets, who lost their second in a row. Darius Songaila had 12 points on a perfect 6-of-6 from the floor - all in the fourth quarter. David West scored 11 and James Posey 10 in defeat.
Dallas was ahead by as many as nine points in the last quarter, but the Hornets trimmed the margin to a pair on separate occasions. Nowitzki's jumper widened Dallas' lead to 90-83 with nearly a minute left, but Posey hit a three-pointer and Songaila's layup had the difference at 90-88 with 22.9 seconds left.
After a timeout, Kidd found Nowitzki for a quick backdoor layup.
Songaila's put-back bucket with 13.5 left had it at two again, but Jason Terry hit two foul shots less than a second later to seal the victory.
A 16-2 push by the Mavs opened a 29-15 lead in the first quarter. They were in front, 35-18, after 12 minutes.
The margin reached 21 early in the second before the Hornets scored 13 in a row. They were within 49-43 at the half. Dallas was in front 71-66 moving to the fourth.
"I can't keep letting us get off to these sluggish starts," said Paul. "The first five, the starting unit, we keep getting ourselves in 15-16 point holes and when we finally get back in the game you've fought too hard to get back."
The Hornets have lost 15 of their last 16 at Dallas...Terry scored 12 points and Shawn Marion 10 for Dallas, which shot 55.1 percent from the floor...Dallas has won the last two games by a combined five points and the last three home games by a combined six points...Dallas committed 20 turnovers for the first time this season. Their 23 TOs resulted in 30 New Orleans points.
12/15 01:38:23 ET