Dallas Mavericks win 4th straight at home, 96-81 over New Orleans Hornets
DALLAS — Vince Carter and Ian Mahinmi had 13 points each to lead the Dallas Mavericks to a 96-81 victory over New Orleans on Saturday to hand the depleted Hornets their sixth consecutive loss.
Carter and Mahinmi led a balanced scoring attack for the Mavericks (4-5), who won their fourth straight at home and had six players scoring in double figures.
Al-Farouq Aminu had 15 points and 12 rebounds to lead New Orleans, which was without three players who are in its regular rotation. Hornets post player Jason Smith missed the game to be with his family after the death of his grandmother Friday night. Guard Eric Gordon (bruised right knee) and forward Trevor Ariza (groin strain) were also out.
The Hornets played their second of three games in four days. They lost at home against the Nuggets on Friday, and play in Denver on Monday.
Dirk Nowitzki picked up his second foul less than 4 minutes in. Lamar Odom replaced him and immediately hit a jumper as part of a back-and-forth stretch.
While Nowitzki had the early fouls and only 10 points on 2-of-11 shooting, plenty of Dallas players did their part to contribute — 11 different Mavericks had already scored by halftime, including seven with at least five points.
Delonte West and Jason Terry both had 12 points, while Roddy Beaubois had 11 for the defending NBA champs.
With Jason Kidd out because of a lower back injury, Carter started for the first time since the season opener.
The Mavericks extended their lead to 50-36 when Carter was involved in all the points of a 7-0 run in just over 1 1/2 minutes late in the first half. Carter had a steal that led to Terry's 16-foot pull-up jumper. After Carter rebounded a Hornets miss, he passed the ball to Shawn Marion for an alley-oop pass to Brandan Wright while being fouled. Wright added the free throw.
That spurt ended when Carter took a step around Marco Belinelli and exploded along the baseline for a monster one-handed dunk to make it 50-36.
Even after missing 10 consecutive shots in the third quarter, Dallas still had a 10-point lead. New Orleans never got closer.
Beaubois ended that shooting drought with a long jumper with 5:44 left in the third quarter. He then had a steal and a pass to Marion for a slam dunk that made it 68-54.
Despite the winning streak at home, Dallas has had a couple of lopsided road losses during that same stretch.
The Mavericks were coming off a 93-71 loss at San Antonio on Thursday night, when they made only 1 of 19 shots from 3-point range. The Spurs took control from the start with a game-opening 19-4 run.
There were nine lead changes and five ties in the first 7 1/2 minutes before Lamar Odom tipped in his own missed layup to break a 16-all tie. The Mavs led the rest of the way, and pushed in front 26-20 by the end of the first after Mahinmi had an impressive 2-minute surge despite missing two free throws to end the quarter.
Terry had an alley-oop pass to Mahinmi, who scored again after getting a pass from Marion. Terry then lost control of the ball, which was pulled in by Mahinmi on the floor, who gave it back to Terry for a 12-foot bank shot.
Notes: Kidd will miss at least two more games. Coach Rick Carlisle said the team doesn't think the injury is serious but will "err on the side of caution" with the 38-year-old Kidd, who left late in the first quarter of Thursday's game at San Antonio. ... Gordon missed his second consecutive game and sixth of seven since the Hornets opener. ... Both teams played the fifth of 18 scheduled games in January. ... Hornets Chris Kaman and Jarret Jack both got called for technical fouls during the same sequence. Kaman was his reaction to being called for a foul, and Jack had a few words with officials as well. Carter hit both free throws for being fouled by Kaman, and Nowitzki made both technical free throws.
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