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Mavs Round Up Hornets


Michael Finley scored 32 points, including seven in a row to open the fourth quarter, and the Dallas Mavericks went on for a 106-96 victory over the Charlotte Hornets on Thursday night.

Erick Strickland added a season-high 23 points as the Mavericks closed out a 4-1 homestand with their eighth victory in their last 11 games.

Finley, pointing toward his first All-Star berth, has scored 30 points or more 10 times this season. He added nine rebounds and four assistsMichael Finley was determined not to make the same mistake.

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  • Finley, who passed up late shots in a one-point loss to Philadelphia on Tuesday, scored 32 points Thursday night in leading the Dallas Mavericks over the Charlotte Hornets 106-96.

    Finley scored seven straight points to start the fourth quarter. Dallas won for the eighth time in 11 games.
    "I just wanted the game to come to me," Finley said. "Against Philadelphia, I was too passive at times and not aggressive enough. I wanted to be more aggressive."

    Finley, pointing toward his first All-Star berth, has scored 30 points or more 10 times this season. He added nine rebounds and four assists and went 11-for-18 from the field.

    Dallas took an 81-75 lead into the final quarter with the help of Finley's layup with 0.2 seconds left in the third period.

    Then Finley began his burst, capped by a 3-pointer with 10:22 left for an 88-75 lead.

    Hornets coach Paul Silas was an assistant in Phoenix when Finley began his NBA career with the Suns. Silas said Finley has come a long way in five seasons.

    "He's capable of these games," said Sila. "He was just on. When he shoots like that, there's nothing you can do. He's made himself into one heck of a player. He couldn't shoot nearly like that when I had him in Phoenix."

    The Mavericks went on to lead by as many as 19 points after making their first nine shots of the fourth quarter, not missing until Erick Strickland's failed 20-footer with 4:41 to play.

    Strickland added a season-high 23 points as the Mavericks closed out a 4-1 homestand, shooting 53.3 percent from the field. Dirk Nowitzki had 14 points for Dallas.

    Dallas coach Don Nelson went to small, quick lineups to counteract Charlotte's bigger front line.

    "They had the size advantage on us so we had to push it and take advantage of our quickness," Strickland said. "We needed this win badly. After losing a lead (10 points early in the fourth quarter to Philadelphia) the other night, we wanted to close this one out."

    The Mavericks received a further lift before the game when owner-to-be Mark Cuban announced a one-year agreement with forward Dennis Rodman. The Dallas native is expected to make his Mavericks debut Feb. 9 against Seattle at Reunion Arena, and the team hopes Rodman improves its defense and rebounding.

    Charlotte held a 46-43 rebounding edge, 13-3 on the offensive boards.

    "He'll be a tremendous help," said Strickland. "We need help inside."

    Eddie Jones' 21 points and Derrick Coleman's 19 paced the Hornets, who had won six of their previous eight.

    The Hornets fell to 6-17 on the road, losing 11 of their last 12 away games. Charlotte is 18-3 at home.

    Jones admitted his team reacts differently on the road.

    "We can't let people think they can beat us before we get there," Jones said. "All they have to do is look at our road record."

    Dallas led 57-50 at halftime behind Strickland's 15 points.

    Notes

  • Finley extended his consecutive games streak to 342 games, third-longest active string in the league.
  • David Wesley started his 165th consecutive game for the Hornets.
  • Dallas' Cedric Ceballos scored only seven points, 11.6 under his average.
  • The Mavericks have held six of their last eight opponents to 100 points or less.
  • Charlotte is 0-13 when trailing at the start of the fourth quarter.Before the game, Mavericks owner-to-be Mark Cuban announced a one-year agreement with forward Dennis Rodman. The Dallas native is expected to make his Mavericks debut Feb. 9 against Seattle at ReunioArena.

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