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Nash perfect from downtown

DALLAS (AP) -- The Dallas Mavericks finally got their lineup of
All-Stars pulling in the same direction.

Steve Nash hit all five of his 3-point shots and sparked a
decisive third-quarter run in the Mavericks' 125-97 victory over
the New Orleans Hornets on Tuesday night.

The Mavericks, struggling to assimilate newcomers Antoine
Walker, Antawn Jamison, Danny Fortson and Tony Delk into the
lineup, had their most complete effort of the season, shooting 58,
finishing with 40 assists and holding a 45-30 rebounding edge.

"Coming together with the group we have, we're bound to have
some explosions," Nash said. "Hopefully this was a glimpse."

The Hornets cut a 19-point deficit in the second period to 66-60
early in the third. Then Nash hit a 3 that started a 23-2 burst
capped by Jamison's dunk.

Walker had 21 points, Michael Finley 20 and Dirk Nowitzki 18 for
the Mavericks. Nash finished with 17 points and 11 assists, and
Fortson had nine points and 11 rebounds in Dallas' most-lopsided
victory of the season.

"The most important thing was our defense," said Jamison, who
had 12 points. "We controlled the boards and got the opportunity
to run. This is what we're capable of doing."

Nowitzki said the key was Nash's unselfish play in the first
quarter.

"He was controlling the game, getting everybody involved,"
Nowitzki said. "He was our MVP last season and that hasn't
changed. We have so many weapons, we don't have to force shots.
When we have 40 assists, that pretty much says it all."

Baron Davis had 25 points, 20 in the first half, for the
Hornets.

David Wesley added 18 points for the Hornets, who handed the Los
Angeles Lakers their first defeat of the season Friday night.

Dallas, which led all the way for the first time this season,
got off to a fast start, shooting 17-for-25 in the first quarter to
build a 39-26 edge.

Finley's 13 points and Fortson's seven points and seven rebounds
helped Dallas to its highest-scoring first quarter of the season.

The Mavericks had 15 assists on their first 17 baskets, with
Nash handing out seven of them in an effort to get his teammates
rolling.

"We were moving the ball, sharing the ball, not forcing bad
shots," Finley said.

The Hornets were unable to recover from the Mavericks'
third-quarter run.

"It was 66-60, Nash hit a 3-pointer, and it was like we
couldn't come back," said P.J. Brown of the Hornets. "It seems
like we were stuck on 60-62 points. It was just a bad, bad quarter
... horrible."

Game notes
Don Nelson got his 250th victory with the Mavericks and is
the second NBA coach with at least 250 wins with three teams. Lenny
Wilkens is the other. ... Delk missed the game because of a
hamstring injury.