Brandan Wright and Vince Carter added 16 points off the bench for Mavericks, who reached .500 for the first time since they were 11-11 in mid-December. They had lost by double digits in their three previous chances to even their record.
Ryan Anderson led the cold-shooting Hornets with 20 points, but he was only 8 of 20 from the floor. Eric Gordon contributed 15 points, and Robin Lopez had 10 points and 13 rebounds. New Orleans shot 39.7 percent in its final home game.
Dallas put this one away early, going on an 11-0 run after New Orleans scored the first basket and extending the advantage to as many as 27 points in the first half.
Nowitzki's landmark basket came with 6:45 left in the second quarter.
The Mavericks will miss the playoffs for the first time since 1989-90, but at least they will get to cut off their beards. Nowitzki, Chris Kaman, O.J. Mayo and Carter had not shaved since late January when Mayo said they would wait until they got back to .500 before using their razors.
They played like they had postseason motivation in the first half.
Marion connected on 7 of 10 shots, and the Mavericks got pretty much whatever they wanted before the break. They scored 12 points on second-chance opportunities, 12 points on the fast break and 32 points in the paint while going 5 for 9 on 3-pointers. Their last basket of the first quarter was typical, Wright followed his own missed shot with an uncontested dunk.
Wright dunked again to close out Dallas' scoring in the second quarter.
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New Orleans began the second half on a 10-2 run to cut its deficit to 64-50, but the Hornets never pulled within single digits. The closest they came was 79-67 late in the third quarter, but Wright finished off the quarter with another dunk to make it 81-67 entering the fourth.
Nowitzki sank a midrange shot and Kaman converted a 3-point play as the Mavericks went back up by 19 early in the fourth to take control.
The Hornets were without Anthony Davis, who is out for the rest of the year with a sprained left knee, but got point guard Greivis Vasquez was back after missing Friday's game against the Los Angeles Clippers with a sprained right ankle.
New Orleans played its final home game as the Hornets. The team will become the Pelicans next season after 25 years as the Hornets
-- the first 14 in Charlotte and the last 11 in New Orleans.
Team mascot Hugo the Hornet made all five of his dunk attempts while jumping off a trampoline during a timeout in the first half in his last appearance. The Hornets could have used some of that energy.
NOTES: Dallas is 27-17 since its low point at 13-23 on Jan. 9. . The Hornets had won four or their last five home finales. . Six Mavs scored between four and six points in the first quarter, setting the tone for a balanced night. . New Orleans finished 16-25 at home. . The Hornets played a video tribute to Hugo on the overhead screen during a timeout in the fourth quarter, and Hugo took a bow on the court when it was over.
Press; By GUERRY SMITH]
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