Rapid Reaction: Mavericks 107, Hornets 89
The Dallas Mavericks’ final step of their grueling climb back to .500 ended up being a pretty easy one.
On a milestone night for Dirk Nowitzki, who joined the 25,000-point club, the Mavs led by double digits from late in the first quarter until the final buzzer. The lead swelled to as large as 27 points in the second quarter.
The Mavs scored with ease against the injury-depleted Hornets’ defense. Shawn Marion (21 points) and Nowitzki (19) led five Mavs in double figures, as Dallas shot 52.3 percent from the floor and committed only eight turnovers. Vince Carter and Brandan Wright added 16 points apiece off the bench.
It was the Mavs' largest margin of victory since March 10, when they won by 23 in Minnesota.
What it means: Those .500 beards can finally go after the Mavs took advantage of their fourth shot at shaving. They also kept alive their goal of finishing the season with a winning record. Dallas has won three of its past four games at New Orleans Arena, where they had lost 11 in a row before this recent run of success. The Hornets fell to 27-54.
Play of the game: This routine midrange jumper had great meaning. Nowitzki became the 17th member of the NBA’s 25,000-point club with his shot over Hornets center Robin Lopez with 6:44 remaining in the second quarter. Nowitzki knew it, too. After the shot swished, he put his right index finger in the air as the Mavs’ bench erupted in applause.
Stat of the night: The Mavs were under .500 for 121 consecutive days. By comparison, they were under .500 for a total of 56 days in the previous 12 seasons, never after the opening month of a season.
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
Play Podcast Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett at Mavericks media day to discuss his expectations for the upcoming season.
Play Podcast Mark Cuban joins Galloway and Company to discuss the Mavericks' new GM Gersson Rosas and much more.
Play Podcast Fitzsimmons and Durrett discuss Mark Cuban's comments from Las Vegas about the Mavericks' offseason, how he sees the team without Dwight Howard and more.
Play Podcast Marc Stein joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why the Mavericks didn't want to match Cleveland's offer to Andrew Bynum, what's next for the Mavs and the possibility of Dirk Nowitzki ending his career elsewhere.
Play Podcast Jeff Platt fires quick-hitters at Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon in the weekly sports standoff about Andrew Bynum, the Mavs' current backcourt, a potential Nelson Cruz suspension and more.
Play Podcast ESPN Los Angeles' Ramona Shelburne joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why she thinks Andrew Bynum got a bad rap in Los Angeles and how he would fit in with the Mavericks.
Play Podcast Buy, sell or hold? If Dwight Howard goes to another team, what are the Mavs' options? The guys take a look at a list of potential fallback options.
Play Podcast ESPN's Marc Stein joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the latest news on the Mavericks' meeting with Dwight Howard.