Mavs give up 61 points in first half and trail

DALLAS -- Coach Rick Carlisle stated two goals for tonight's game: Win and improve on defense. Well, the Mavs are losing by three to the Hornets at halftime and have allowed 61 points on 57.5 percent shooting.

Unless Dallas is playing for the No. 4 seed, that's hardly progress, especially against a NOLA team without power forward and leading scorer David West.

NOLA is simply making a lot of open shots. There's really not much more to it.

Hornets guard Jarrett Jack apparently loves playing Dallas. He has 16 points on 5-of-6 shooting off the bench. Dirk Nowitzki leads the Mavs with 19 points and J.J. Barea has 10 points and a couple of assists.

Roddy Beaubois did not start for the first time since his first game back just prior to the All-Star break. However, the young guard left the game in the second quarter limping and was escorted to the locker room. No further information has been provided.

Again, if the Mavs lose this game they will hand the 2-seed to the Lakers, who play in Sacramento in about 45 minutes. An Oklahoma City loss to the Bucks and Mavs loss will drop Dallas to the No. 4 seed and date with Denver.