Dallas, TX (Sports Network) – Dirk Nowitzki poured in 32 points, helping the Dallas Mavericks crush the New Orleans Hornets, 121-89, in a postseason tuneup.
Seven players scored in double figures for the Mavericks (57-25), who can clinch the Western Conference’s No. 2 seed if the Lakers lose at Sacramento on Wednesday. They will be the third seed if the Lakers win.
Jarrett Jack had 22 points to lead the Hornets (46-36), who can still clinch the West’s seventh seed if Memphis loses to the Los Angeles Clippers. If the Grizzlies win, however, New Orleans will be seeded No. 8 and face the San Antonio Spurs in the first round of the playoffs.
Jack scored 16 of his points in the first half to help New Orleans grab a 61-58 advantage at the break.
However, the Mavericks shut the Hornets down in the third quarter — New Orleans made just 4-of-16 attempts from the floor — to take control.
Jason Kidd hit back-to-back threes to push Dallas’ lead to 82-70 with 2:26 remaining, and the Mavericks held an 86-74 advantage moving to the fourth.
It was the same story in the final quarter, when both teams’ benches played the majority of minutes. New Orleans shot 30 percent while Dallas sank 12- of-15 from the field.
Jason Terry hit two long-distance shots to bookend a 10-2 burst that put the Mavericks up 96-78, and they cruised from there. Dallas’ Corey Brewer scored all 11 of his points in the period.
Dallas won four in a row to end the regular season…The Mavericks were 29-12 at home during the regular season…New Orleans was 18-23 on the road and ended its regular season with three consecutive losses…The teams split four games during the season.