Dirk starts, but Mavs lose in OT (again)

Mavericks vs. Hornets

Credit: NBAE/Getty Images

Dirk Nowitzki posts up against Anthony Davis of the New Orleans Hornets on January 5, 2012 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas. (Copyright 2012 NBAE/Photo by Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images)

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by STEPHEN HAWKINS

Associated Press

Posted on January 5, 2013 at 11:28 PM

Updated Saturday, Jan 5 at 11:42 PM

DALLAS (AP) — Eric Gordon completed a three-point play with 4.7 seconds left in overtime and the New Orleans Hornets won 99-96 Saturday night to spoil the Dallas Mavericks' first game this season with Dirk Nowitzki in the starting lineup.

After a timeout, O.J. Mayo was beyond the 3-point line when Gordon went up the air and by him. Gordon's foot made contact with the ball, knocking it loose. Instead of a foul, officials called it a kicked ball. Dallas got one more chance but Vince Carter's shot from the right corner ricocheted off the rim.

Nowitzki had a team-high 20 points in 34 minutes, his most extensive action this season. He missed a free throw with 18 seconds left in regulation that would have put the Mavericks ahead by a point.

Greivis Vasquez had 15 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter for the Hornets, but missed a final shot at the end of regulation. Vasquez also had nine assists.

Gordon's game-winner came when he scored on a bank shot from the top of the circle after he got Darren Collison up in the air and drew the foul. He then made the free throw.

The Mavericks (13-21) have lost 10 consecutive overtime games, matching an NBA record held by three other teams. That includes seven OT losses this season, and five in their current 2-11 stretch.

New Orleans (8-25) had lost 14 of its previous 16 games, and still has the worst record in the Western Conference.

Ryan Anderson had 16 points for the Hornets, while Gordon had 14 and Jason Smith 12. Al-Farouq Aminu had 10 points and 13 rebounds.

Carter had 17 points for the Mavs, and Mayo had 14 on 5-of-17 shooting.

Nowitzki had been a reserve in his first six games after missing the first 27 games of his 15th NBA season recovering from arthroscopic right knee surgery.

It was the NBA-high 15th different starting lineup for the Mavericks, and the first time this season they had the starting five they anticipated before the star 7-footer had surgery Oct. 19, three weeks into the preseason: Nowitzki with Shawn Marion and offseason additions Chris Kaman, Mayo and Collison.

There was a huge ovation when Nowitzki was the last of the starters introduced before the game.

 

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