- Tim MacMahon, ESPN Staff Writer
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The fact that the New Orleans Hornets are horrible helped the Dallas Mavericks’ cause.
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.
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.