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Mavs Crumble in Final Minutes Versus Hornets, 93-92

The Dallas Mavericks were unable to end their road woes against the New Orleans Hornets as they suffered a 93-92 loss on Wednesday night. The Mavericks have now lost 11 straight games (including the playoffs) in New Orleans. The Hornets finished the game on an 8-0 run and 20-10 run over the last 4:24 of the game. Dirk Nowitzki had a chance give the Mavericks the win, but he missed a highly-contested 17-foot fadeaway jumper over Emeka Okafor. Nowitzki did have a game-high 26 points. It would have been nicer if he finished with 28 points.

The Hornets played their second straight game without Chris Paul after sustaining a concussion in Sunday night's game against Cleveland. The Hornets are now 1-1 this season without Paul in the lineup. Over the last two seasons, the Hornets are 15-24 without Chris Paul. New Orleans has now won nine of the last 15 meetings with Dallas. The Mavericks won the previous 21 match-ups against the Hornets franchise from 2000-2007. The home team has now won all three games this year. All three games were decided by three points or less.

Looking on the bright side, the Mavericks have won 19 out of their last 22 games. The three losses came by a combined three points. The problem is that the three losses have been due to blowing double-digit leads in each game. The Mavericks desperately need to maintain their focus to maintain these leads. If things do not change, their playoff run could be shorter than expected.

Did THAT Just Happen?!

- Peja Stojakovic missed the game due to a stiff neck. The injury occurred after a light workout Tuesday morning in Minneapolis before the team flew down to New Orleans. Reports indicate that he was walking around stiffly and  is being listed as day-to-day. It will be interesting to see if this is an indirect form of taking Stojakovic out of the mix in the primary rotation. With Stojakovic missing the game against his former team, the Mavs starting lineup consisted of Jason Kidd, Rodrigue Beaubois, Shawn Marion, Dirk Nowitzki and Tyson Chandler. The new lineup marked the 17th different starting lineup the Mavs have used this season. The start for Marion marked his13th start of the season.

- As noted above, Tyson Chandler returned after missing three games due to a sprained right ankle. It was good to see him back on the floor and it appeared that he was able to play pain-free. It appears that there will not be much of a grace time that is necessary to get him back into the mix of things for the Mavericks.

- Rodrigue Beaubois was ready to go as he scored seven points on 3-5 shooting in the six minutes he played in the first half. He finished the game with nine points in 13 minutes of action. The guard was also called for his first technical of his NBA career with just over six minutes to go in the third quarter. Beaubois fouled Jarrett Jack and then started voicing his displeasure with Rick Carlisle about the call and the referees misconstrued the action and called him for the technical foul.

- Jason Terry received two quick foul calls in the first quarter and it appeared that it messed with his rhythm. He was struggling until the final minute of the third quarter. He was shooting 1-4 from the field before hitting back-to-back three point baskets. Terry looked primed to take over in the fourth quarter but that was not the case. He only shot 1-3 in the fourth quarter and finished the game with 10 points.

- Shawn Marion was going for a breakaway layup with just under six minutes to go in the third quarter when Marco Belinelli went for a cheap foul. Belinelli took a swipe at the ball but mainly shoved Marion into the stands. It was called a flagrant foul one call. Marion hit 1-2 from the free throw line in the process. After the free throws, the Mavs forward did not return to the game due to sore left ribs. With a game on Thursday against the New York Knicks, his status in unknown.


Box Score Revelations

- The first quarter saw both teams shooting poorly. The Hornets started the quarter 2-12 from the field and finished the quarter shooting 36% from the field. The Mavericks had a lid on their basket as they hit a stretch where they went 0-12 from the field during the middle portion of the quarter. They finished the quarter shooting 30% from the field.

- The offense came alive for both teams in the second quarter. Dallas scored 30 points in the second quarter and New Orleans scored 27 points. The Mavericks took a 46-43 lead over the Hornets at the half. Dallas is now 33-7 (14-2 on the road) when leading at half this season. Both losses on the road when leading at half were against the Hornets. The Mavs led 52-42 at half on November 17 before losing that game, 99-97.

- Tyson Chandler was a beast on the boards. He grabbed his 10th rebound of the game with 4:37 left in the first half. The right ankle had to be fine as the big man was jumping all over the place. Chandler returned to the lineup and collected his 17th double-double of the season with 16 points and 13 rebounds. With the loss, the Mavericks are now 13-4 when Chandler records a double-double.

- The Mavericks had 31 rebounds and Chandler had 13 of them. Mixing that with the fact that the Mavs were out-rebounded by 13 (44-31), it was a bad night on the boards for the Mavericks. Dallas allowed nine offensive rebounds. The offensive rebounds allowed continue to be a major issue as they have allowed forty offensive rebounds in their last three games.

- The Mavericks only shot 75% from the free throw line (24-32). New Orleans only shot 72.4% from the line (21-29). Losing the game by one point and missing eight free throws will be another thing that haunts the Mavericks when they look back at this game.

- Corey Brewer got his first DNP-CD as a Maverick. In a game where Shawn Marion had to leave the game due to injury and Peja Stojakovic was in street clothes, it is very interesting to see that Brewer did not see the floor.

- For New Orleans, Carl Landry finished the game with 15 points while shooting 7-9 from the field. Landry fouled out in a blaze of glory as he collected fouls four, five and six in a three minute stretch in the fourth quarter. It is hard to imagine that Mark Cuban was a happy camper to see Landry wearing a Hornets uniform. If you do not remember, Cuban was furious to see that New Orleans took on salary in acquiring Landry before the trade deadline. Cuban handles 1/29 of the financial responsibility for the Hornets.


Tweetings From the Mavs Universe

- "Roddy is French for 'easy'"


- "For lent, Mavs and Hornets have given up baskets."


- "You think Roddy and Ian make fun of all the hillbilly French in Nola?"


- "I think Tyson Chandler's dunks can be felt miles away."



BG's Baller of the Game:

Baller status has been granted to Tyson Chandler. It was incredibly good to see Tyson Chandler back in the fold and look spy and healthy in his return from the sprained right ankle. He also recorded his 103rd dunk of the season (5th in the NBA this season). The Mavericks will need a healthy Chandler, and everything he brings to the table, the rest of the way. They will especially need him over the next two games versus dangerous opponents.


The Mavericks will fly right back home on Wednesday in preparation for their game against the New York Knicks on Thursday night. Dallas has won 16 of the last 18 meetings with New York. The Mavericks won nine straight at home before falling to the Knicks at American Airlines Center on January 24, 2010. They have still taken 11 of the last 13 match-ups at home. The two teams met for the first time in 2010-11 on February 2 and Dallas recorded a 113-97 victory on the road. Dirk Nowitzki paced Dallas with a game-high 29 points and a game-high-tying 11 boards. Tyson Chandler also recorded a double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds. It will mark the second night of a back-to-back. This season, Dallas is 10-5 in the first half of back-to-backs and 10-4 in the second half of back-to-backs. The Mavericks have 20 back-to-backs scheduled this year, after they played 20 in 2009-10. Dallas went 15-5 in the first game of a back-to-back and 12-8 in the second game of a back-to-back in 2009-10. The game between the Mavericks and the Knicks will tip off at 8:30 pm CST.


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