DALLAS (AP) — Darren Collison scored 25 points, Dirk Nowitzki added 16 and the Dallas Mavericks finished their worst season in 13 years on a winning note, beating New Orleans 99-87 in its final game as the Hornets on Wednesday night.
The Mavericks (41-41) avoided their first losing record since going 40-42 in 1999-2000 — also the last time they missed the playoffs.
Al-Farouq Amini had 16 points and a career-high 20 rebounds for New Orleans, which will become the Pelicans next season. Eric Gordon also scored 16 for the Hornets.
Nowitzki, who also had a team-high nine rebounds, scored nine points in the third quarter, including a three-point play on a jumper and his one-legged step-back shot at the buzzer for a 75-64 lead.
The Hornets got within six in the fourth quarter, but Collison scored eight straight points to key an 18-4 run that put the Mavs ahead by 20.