At the half: Mavs 52, Hornets 41

DALLAS -- Vince Carter put his head down, blew by Marco Belinelli and then went old school with a vintage sideways, one-handed slam over Emeka Okafor. That pretty well sums up the kind of night the Jason Kidd-less Dallas Mavericks are having against the struggling New Orleans Hornets.

After shooting a season-low 35.1 percent from the floor at San Antonio two nights ago, they've responded with a blistering 52.6 percent from the floor and even have heated up from beyond the arc, hitting 3-of-7 (better than 1-of-19 the other night).

Should Dallas have a bigger lead considering the competition and the fact that Eric Gordon and Trevor Ariza are both sidelined with injuries?

Perhaps, but at 3-5 and coming off Thursday's stinker, the Mavs will gladly take the 11-point lead to the locker room.

All 11 Mavs that have played have scored and no one has more than six points. Carter, Delonte West, Lamar Odom, Jason Terry and Rodrigue Beaubois all have six. Dirk Nowitzki, who scored a season-low six points against the Spurs, has five points, as do Ian Mahinmi and Brandan Wright.