Rapid Reaction: Mavericks 99, Hornets 87
The Mavs actually had a little motivation, too, wanting to at least finish .500.
Point guard Darren Collison, perhaps playing his final game for the Mavs, lit up his former team for a game-high 25 points, his second-highest point total of the season. Collison was 10-of-15 from the floor in 29 minutes off the bench.
Dirk Nowitzki added 16 points and nine rebounds before sitting out the fourth quarter. Shawn Marion had 15 points and seven rebounds and exited to a nice ovation with a few minutes remaining.
Eric Gordon led New Orleans with 17 points, but he was 4-of-17 from the floor and committed four turnovers. The Hornets shot just 36.9 percent.
What it means: The Mavs avoided having a losing season for the first time since 1999-2000. They finished 41-41. The Hornets, who will now be known as the Pelicans, went 27-55.
Play of the game: Nowitzki knocked down one of his trademark one-legged fadeaways at the third-quarter buzzer to stretch the Mavs’ lead to double digits for the first time in the game. It was a vintage Nowitzki move, creating the shot off the dribble and launching the 16-footer over the outstretched arm of New Orleans 7-footer Robin Lopez.
Stat of the night: Hornets small forward Al-Farouq Aminu had a 14-8 rebounding advantage over the Mavericks in the first quarter. Aminu, who averages 7.5 rebounds per game, set a franchise record for rebounds in a quarter. He finished the game with a career-high 20 rebounds.
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.