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Mavericks Vs. Hornets Halftime Score: Dallas Trailing Against New Orleans, 52-46

Dirk Nowitzki called this a "must win game" for the Dallas Mavericks, but so far they are not playing well against the New Orleans Hornets, and trail 52-46 at the break. The Mavericks have lost three in a row and four of their last five, and are without Lamar Odom. The Mavericks should not be struggling against the eight-win Hornets, partly because they have not been good this year, but also because they are playing without guard Eric Gordon, forward Carl Landry and center Emeka Okafor.

The Mavericks have been trying to stay in this game by putting up a lot of three-pointers, but that strategy is not working as they are 5-of-16 from the field with Jason Terry missing all four of his attempts. Take away their poor three-point shooting and the Mavericks are actually shooting well. The problem for the Mavericks is that their defense has given up 15 points to Chris Kaman and a season-high 13 points to Xavier Henry in only nine minutes of playing time.

Leading the way for the Mavericks are Vince Carter and Brandan Wright each have nine points. Carter did help the Mavericks to a lead when they went on an 11-0 run to give the Mavericks a 44-43 lead late in the second half, but that would not last long as the Hornets ended the half on an 8-2 run.

For more news and analysis on the Mavericks head over to Mavs Moneyball while At The Hive has you covered for all things Hornets.

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