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Hornets end losing streak to Mavericks

December 02, 2007|From the Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS -- The New Orleans Hornets' tireless, scrappy effort to put eight years of losing to the Dallas Mavericks behind them came down to one shot -- and Peja Stojakovic made it.

Stojakovic's 22 points included four three-pointers, his last with 2.9 seconds left in regulation, to help the Hornets pull out a 112-108 overtime victory over the Mavericks on Saturday night.

The Hornets had lost their last 21 meetings with the Mavericks, a streak dating to November 1999. If Stojakovic's shot had bounced out, it likely would have continued.

"It's just 18 games into the season, but for us as a team, I think it's a good win," Stojakovic said. "We can use this game to build and get better. . . . We gave ourselves a chance and that's the most important thing. You fight and you're right there, and then you can make those kinds of shots."

Stojakovic, a previous winner of the NBA All-Star three-point shooting contest, clearly has found his range after returning from back surgery that kept him out almost all of last season. His 43 three-pointers lead the league.

His shooting spread the floor for Hornets point guard Chris Paul, who had 33 points, 12 assists and nine rebounds. Now in his third season, Paul said he was tired of hearing how he was in ninth grade the last time the Hornets, who were Charlotte's team back then, beat the Mavericks.

"This is the last team in the NBA I had yet to beat and finally beat them," he said. "For a while there, everybody in the organization almost thought Dallas was unbeatable. We showed we could do it. . . . Enough is enough."

Tyson Chandler had 21 points and 13 rebounds for New Orleans, one night after leaving a victory at Atlanta early because he had a chipped tooth knocked down his throat.

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