The New Orleans Hornets went toe to toe with the defending NBA Champion Dallas Mavericks, but in the end they came up just short...again. The Mavs escaped the Hive with an 83-81 victory. New Orleans has lost 7 straight, and have lost the last 3 contests by a combined 10 points.

Emeka Okafor (pictured left)  finished with a double-double in the losing effort. He tied his season-high with 16 points and set a season-high with 17 rebounds. Carl Landry led the Hornets in scoring with 19.

New Orleans had more than one opportunity to tie the game in the final two and a half minutes. They simply could not make a shot. The Hornets superb defense continues to keep them in games, but ultimately their offense keeps them from winning games.

Eric Gordon missed his 14th game of the season with a knee injury. His absence on both ends of the floor is making it difficult for the Hornets to go from losing close games, to winning close games.

New Orleans will stay at home for a Monday night contest against the San Antonio Spurs. It'll be the 4th straight divisional game for the fleur-de-bees. Tip-off at the Hive is set for 7:00.