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News » Mavericks-Hornets Preview 2009-11-04

Mavericks-Hornets Preview 2009-11-04

Mavericks-Hornets Preview 2009-11-04Coming off a record-breaking fourth-quarter performance, Dirk Nowitzki will try to help the Dallas Mavericks snap a four-game road losing streak against the Southwest Division rival New Orleans Hornets.

The way New Orleans has been playing defense, Dallas appears to have a good chance to end that skid.

The Mavericks look to ride Nowitzki to their fourth straight victory Wednesday night when they visit the struggling Hornets.

Nowitzki scored 40 points, including a team-record 29 in the fourth quarter, as Dallas (3-1) rallied from a 16-point deficit with 8:17 remaining to defeat Utah 96-85 on Tuesday night.

After totaling 52 points in the first three quarters, the Mavericks outscored the Jazz 44-18 in the fourth.

"It was an ugly game," said Nowitzki, who hit 12 of 22 shots and made 15 of 16 from the foul line. "We couldn't get anything going for three quarters. We were slow. We were looking for a spark offensively and I was able to do that tonight."

Mark Aguirre held the Mavericks' previous franchise record for points in any quarter with 24 against Denver on March 24, 1984.

"Twenty-five years in this, I've seen a lot of amazing things happen," coach Rick Carlisle said. "To be honest, it wasn't looking great, but we just needed a couple good things to happen offensively for us."

Nowitzki, averaging 29.8 points this season, has scored 20 or more in 29 straight games - the longest current streak in the NBA.

The eight-time All-Star averaged 25.3 points and 10.3 boards versus New Orleans last season. He could be even more prolific against a Hornets defense that's allowing 104.8 points per game.

New Orleans (1-3) held opponents to 94.3 points per game last season, the fifth-best mark in the league. There were no signs of that stingy defense Monday, when the Hornets fell 117-11 at New York.

"We played a pretty good game but our biggest issue right now is we can't stop anybody," said point guard Chris Paul, who had 32 points and 13 assists while going 12 for 18 from the field.

The Mavericks weren't able to stop Paul last season as they dropped three of four to the Hornets, including both games in New Orleans.

Paul averaged 33.3 points, 12.5 assists and 8.0 rebounds against Dallas in 2008-09. He had a triple-double in the teams' first meeting and fell a rebound shy of another one in the last matchup April 12.

"He's always one of the top players in the league, and we're going to have our hands full on the road," Mavericks point guard Jason Kidd told the team's official Web site.

Dallas is looking to open 3-0 on the road for the first time since 2002-03. The Mavericks, though, have lost four straight road games against the Hornets since a 105-89 victory on March 27, 2007, in Oklahoma City.

Dallas will get its first look at Emeka Okafor in a Hornets jersey. Okafor, acquired from Charlotte in the offseason, scored a season-high 24 points with 10 rebounds Monday.

Hornets forward David West, still looking for his first double-double of the season, averaged 25.0 points and 8.0 boards in two home games against Dallas last season.

Since dropping 21 straight to the Mavericks from Feb. 3, 2000-March 27, 2007, the Hornets have won five of eight in this series.

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Author: Fox Sports
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Added: November 4, 2009


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