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Mavericks Vs. Hornets Final Score: Minus Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas Wins A Close One Over New Orleans 83-81

The Dallas Mavericks were without starting forward Dirk Nowitzki who is going to miss four games due to a knee injury, and the Mavericks could have used Nowitzki tonight as they squeaked past the New Orleans Hornets 83-81. The loss for the Hornets was their seventh straight defeat.

Lamar Odom got his first start of the year since Nowitzki was out and scored 16 points in the Mavericks in the win. The 16 points tied for the team lead with Delonte West.

The first two quarters had the Mavericks leading after one by four points and then the Hornets were able to tie the game at the half at 41 points apiece. The third quarter is where the Mavericks thought they had the game won as they outscored the Horneds by 11 after three quarters, but the Hornets made a comeback in the fourth quarter and almost pulled off the upset.

The Hornets got within one point with 14 seconds left in the game, but the Mavericks made their next four free throws with a dunk by the Hornets Carly Landry in between to give the Mavericks a three point lead. The Hornets had one chance to tie the game when Jarrett Jack made his first free throw to cut the Mavericks lead to two and then he purposely missed the second to give the Hornets a chance to tie the game. There was one second left on the intentional miss but the Hornets were unable to get off a shot off, and with that miss it secured the win for the Mavericks.

Mavs Moneyball has you covered for all the latest news and notes on the defending NBA champions, while At The Hive is your one-stop shop for information on the Southwest Division rivals in New Orleans.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.