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3-pointer: 'Obviously wasn't pretty,' but ...

DALLAS -- The Mavericks aren’t about to complain about the aesthetic quality of a victory.

Not as long as they’re trying to climb to .500, at least. But they also aren’t going to pretend a win like Saturday’s 96-81 victory over the injury-depleted, lottery-bound New Orleans Hornets was a piece of art.

“The only thing you can take out of this is a win and kind of move forward,” Dirk Nowitzki said. “But it obviously wasn’t pretty on both ends of the floor.”

That’s true, but there were some positives from the performance. A few that come to mind:

1. Delonte West did a solid job filling in for Jason Kidd as the starting point guard, something that he’ll have to do for at least two more games. West had 12 points, four assists, two steals and only one turnover in 22 minutes. “I liked Delonte West tonight,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “I liked his tenacity. He made plays and was really into the game. … We need that kind of intensity.”

2. Ian Mahinmi continued to show that he can be more than just an adequate backup center. He was a force off the bench again, scoring 13 points on 5-of-6 shooting, grabbing seven rebounds and a couple of steals and blocking one shot in 24 minutes. “Ian’s a great example of what’s important this year,” Carlisle said. “He’s energetic and he’s involved in every play.”

3. Brandan Wright, the young former lottery pick power forward/center the Mavs picked up after the lockout was lifted, made his presence felt in seven minutes off the bench. And it wasn’t just garbage time, with most of it coming in the first half. Wright’s only two shots were emphatic dunks, including an and-1 alley-oop from Shawn Marion to finish a fast break.