Final

Regular Season Series (Game 3 of 4)

Series starts 11/25

Game 1: Saturday, November 25th
Hornets73Final
Mavericks85
Game 2: Saturday, December 16th
Mavericks90Final
Hornets79
Game 3: Saturday, December 30th
Hornets80Final
Mavericks94
Game 4: Tuesday, March 27th
Mavericks105Final
Hornets89

Hornets 80

(12-18, 5-12 away)

Mavericks 94

(23-7, 14-3 home)

    Coverage: COX

    7:30 PM ET, December 30, 2006

    American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX

    1 2 3 4 T
    NO 26 15 15 2480
    DAL 30 23 24 1794

    Top Performers

    NO/Oklahoma City: M. Jackson 22 Pts, 8 Reb

    Dallas: J. Terry 25 Pts, 2 Reb, 6 Ast

    Injury-laden Hornets fall deeper into losing slump

    DALLAS (AP) -- The Dallas Mavericks had little trouble maintaining their seven-year run of dominance over the injury-depleted New Orleans Hornets.

    Jason Terry scored 25 points, Dirk Nowitzki had 17, and the Mavericks extended their winning streak to nine games with a 94-80 victory over the Hornets on Saturday night.

    Josh Howard added 15 points and Devin Harris had 12 to help the Mavericks beat the Hornets for the 20th consecutive time, the longest active streak in the four major North American professional sports.

    The last time the Hornets beat the Mavericks was on Nov. 17, 1999.

    New Orleans grabbed a brief 34-33 lead with 8:44 left until halftime before Dallas took control with a 19-8 run over the rest of the quarter.

    "We lost focus and had some lapses," Howard said. "But we turned it up and finished strong."

    Dallas improved to an NBA-best 23-7, but the Mavericks were far from perfect against the short-handed Hornets.

    "We definitely needed to win this game tonight," Terry said. "For the most part, we did a decent job, but for a couple of stretches we didn't play the kind of defense we're capable of. We could have easily given the game away, but I don't think you're going to see that from our team."

    The victory boosted Avery Johnson's head coaching record to 99-31. The late Red Auerbach holds the NBA record for quickest to 100 coaching victories, reaching the milestone in 135 games.

    Marc Jackson scored 22 points, Desmond Mason added 17, and Devin Brown had 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Hornets, who were without four of their top five offensive players.

    Chris Paul, the Hornets' leader with 18.4 points and 9.0 assists per game, sat out his third straight because of a sprained right ankle that will keep him sidelined for a month.

    Also out for the Hornets, who knocked off the Denver Nuggets in Oklahoma City on Friday night, were Bobby Jackson (cracked rib), Peja Stojakovic (back surgery) and David West (right elbow).

    The Hornets have lost eight of their last 10.

    "It's like climbing Mt. Everest without the rope," Hornets coach Byron Scott said. "But that's how it is. Our young guys are getting some valuable experience."

    Dallas hit eight straight field goal attempts during a first-quarter run and had a 10-0 spurt in the second quarter to build a 53-41 halftime lead.

    Terry had 17 first-half points and Howard added 12, but Nowitzki took only five shots from the floor and had seven points in the opening half.

    The Mavericks opened the third quarter with a 13-2 run, led by six points from Nowitzki, for a 66-43 edge, and the rout was on.

    "Even though those guys (the Hornets) were short-handed, we wanted to show them the same respect," Dallas' Anthony Johnson said. "Even though we were inconsistent at times, overall we played well."

    Dallas went on to lead by as many as 26 points and took a 77-56 advantage into the final quarter.

    New Orleans couldn't get closer than 11 points in the fourth.

    "They (the Mavericks) are very good and very deep," Scott said. "We didn't think we would have an easy night against this team. Being the championship team that they are, they tightened up, got stops when they needed them."

    Game notes


    The Mavericks' season-best winning streak was 12 games from Nov. 9-Dec. 1. ... Dallas F Jerry Stackhouse missed his fourth straight game with a sprained left ankle. Avery Johnson said Stackhouse would also sit out Sunday night's game in Denver, then will test the ankle in practice next week. ... Dallas has scored 30 or more points in the first quarter 14 times this season. ...The Mavericks are 11-0 when they hold their opponent below 90 points. ...Nowitzki has led the Mavericks in scoring only once in the last nine games after doing so 17 times in the first 21 games.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

    SPONSORED HEADLINES

    Team Stat Comparison

     
    NO
    DAL
    Points 80 94
    FGM-FGA 28-69 (.406) 35-79 (.443)
    3PM-3PA 2-10 (.200) 5-12 (.417)
    FTM-FTA 22-29 (.759) 19-24 (.792)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 8-43 6-38
    Assists 13 23
    Turnovers 17 9
    Steals 4 5
    Blocks 1 6
    Fast Break Points 1 4
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 25 (0/0) 23 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 1 26

    Top Performers

    No/oklahoma City
    Dallas
    Marc Jackson Jackson
    Points: 22
    Reb: 8
    Ast: 0
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 0
    Jason Terry Terry
    Points: 25
    Reb: 2
    Ast: 6
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 0