NBA Game Summary - New Orleans/Oklahoma City at Dallas
(Saturday, April 8th)
Final Score: Dallas 101, New Orleans/Oklahoma City 77
Dallas, TX (Sports Network) - Dirk Nowitzki had 20 points, eight rebounds and five assists to lead the Dallas Mavericks to a 101-77 rout over the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets at American Airlines Center.
Jason Terry and Josh Howard each netted 19 and Marquis Daniels added 13 for the Mavericks, who have won four straight games. Howard also pulled down eight boards.
"Terry is a heck of a shooter and he has a tough job every night in guarding the toughest position in basketball, which I think is the point guard position," said Dallas coach Avery Johnson. "He had two guys he had to deal with tonight. I thought Jason's energy defensively was a big key."
Dallas is a half game behind the idle San Antonio Spurs for the top spot in the Western Conference playoff race.
Rasual Butler paced the Hornets with 14 points and seven boards and P.J. Brown posted 12 points and seven rebounds in the loss, which snapped a two game winning streak.
The Hornets and the Utah Jazz are both 2 1/2 games behind the Los Angeles Lakers and Sacramento Kings in the race for the final two postseason spots in the Western Conference.
"I thought we started off terrible with no sense of urgency," said Hornets coach Byron Scott. "We played like the game did not mean a thing. That wasn't everybody obviously, but as a team, collectively, we were awful. Simple as that."
Dallas dominated New Orleans/Oklahoma City in nearly every category. The Mavs connected on 49 percent of their shots, including 7-of-14 from beyond the arc, while the Hornets shot 44 percent from the field. Dallas also outrebounded the Hornets, 48-30.
The Mavericks jumped out to a 21-9 lead behind eight points from Terry and were ahead 29-19 after 12 minutes of play.
Dallas continued where it left off in the opening stanza and began the second period with a 14-6 spurt, capped by Jerry Stackhouse's turnaround jumper, to make the score 43-29. The Mavs held a 56-39 advantage at the half.
Nowitzki's jumper pushed the score to 66-45, but the Hornets countered with an 11-5 rally, including six points from Butler, to pull within 71-56. Dallas took a 78-60 margin into the final frame.
The Mavericks opened the fourth quarter with an 18-6 surge, highlighted by threes from Terry and Daniels, which upped the lead to 96-67 with 4:46 to play.
The Hornets could not put together a run over the final five minutes to get back in the game. New Orleans/Oklahoma City connected on just 6-of-17 from the field in the fourth quarter.
The 77 points for the Hornets is an opponent low for Dallas...The Mavs have won 17 straight meetings...This was the 23rd consecutive game for Nowitzki with 20 or more points...Stackhouse finished with nine points and tied a with season-high eight assists...The Mavericks ended the season with a 13-3 record in the Southwest Division.
04/09 01:43:52 ET