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Hornets Fall For First Time This Season

From the Associated Press

 Jason Terry scored 26 points, including the go-ahead jumper in the final minute, and the Dallas Mavericks handed the New Orleans Hornets their first loss of the season, 98-95 on Monday night.

New Orleans, which had been off to a franchise-best 8-0 start, got 22 points from Chris Paul, but only two came in the second half.

Dirk Nowitzki had 25 points and 10 rebounds to help the Mavericks stretch their winning streak to four games.

Peja Stojakovic added 17 points and Emeka Okafor pulled down 14 rebounds for New Orleans.

Terry’s 17-footer with 46 seconds remaining gave the Mavericks a 95-92 edge, but Trevor Ariza‘s 3-pointer with 40 seconds left tied it at 95.

Terry drained an 18-footer with 34 seconds to play for a 97-95 advantage. Nowitzki made only one free throw with 2.8 seconds left, giving New Orleans a final chance to tie, but Okafor missed a contested 25-footer at the buzzer.

The teams have a rematch Wednesday night in New Orleans.

Jason Kidd contributed 16 points and six assists as Dallas rallied from a 10-point, fourth-quarter deficit. The Hornets were hurt by missing eight of 24 free throws. The Mavericks weren’t much better from the line, missing eight of 27.

After the Mavs trailed by as many as 11 in the third quarter, Terry made 3-pointers on consecutive possessions to open the final quarter, pulling the Mavericks within 78-75.

Paul, who spent the final 7:34 of the third quarter on the bench with four fouls, returned about two minutes into the fourth quarter.

Four consecutive 3-pointers by Willie Green, Stojakovic, Green and Stojakovic gave the Hornets a 90-83 lead with 6:04 remaining. Dallas came back with a 13-3 spurt, capped by Nowitzki’s 3-pointer with 3:20 to play to tie it at 90.

New Orleans used an 10-0 run early in the third quarter for a 62-52 pad, but Paul went to the bench after collecting his fourth foul. Even without him for the rest of the quarter, the Hornets held a 76-69 edge at the end of three.

Paul, averaging 17 points in the first eight games, went 8 of 11 from the field to send New Orleans to a 52-47 advantage at the break.

Game notes
Hornets G Marcus Thornton is slowed by a bruised thigh and was among the inactives. … Mavericks G/F Caron Butler (14.7 ppg., third on the team) sat out his third straight game with back spasms. Dallas G Roddy Beaubois is out of a walking boot protecting his surgically repaired foot, but hasn’t been cleared for basketball activity. New Orleans has held its first nine opponents to less than 100 points.

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