W2W4: Take sting out of Hornets early

This is what Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said about his team hanging tough at Utah and taking down the Jazz at the end:

"It’s as good a win as we have had all year for a lot of reasons. Number 1, what we have been through the last couple of games, and to bounce back is huge. And you know in this building you are in altitude, this is as loud a place (as there is), tonight this was louder than I have heard all year."

And so now it's on to New Orleans, where the building won't quite buzz like a Hornets nest and the altitude is, well, the city is below sea level. As big as Thursday's road win was after consecutive stingers in Los Angeles, a loss in NOLA to end this four-game road swing with four home games coming up would be, to play off Carlisle's quote, as bad a loss as they've had all season.

Records: Mavs (9-7); Hornets (3-12)

When: 7 p.m.

Where: New Orleans Arena


Radio: 103.3 FM ESPN; 1270 AM (Spanish)

What to watch: The Hornets have lost 12 of 13 and six in a row. They are 1-7 at home are haven't won there since Dec. 28, losing seven straight. This is a team begging to be pounced on quickly. Can the Mavs roll momentum gained from a big fourth quarter in Utah and transfer it to the first quarter in New Orleans? As Carlisle has mentioned about the two buzzer losses in Los Angeles, while everyone focuses on the final shot, it's what happened throughout the game that got them in such a predicament. A strong first quarter can demoralize a losing team and allow Dallas to cruise as it did in the first meeting at the American Airlines Center.

Key matchup: Delonte West/Jason Terry vs. Jarrett Jack

Jack (16.3 ppg, 7.4 apg) has led New Orleans in assists 11 times and in scoring five times. The Mavs don't want to see him get hot the way Mo Williams did for the Clippers. If Jack is relatively contained it will make the rest for the Hornets' lineup suffer. This is not a powerful offensive club. Dallas has seen Jack -- who is averaging nearly 38 minutes a game, so he will be out there a lot -- heat up before and he is capable of burying the 3-point shot, although he is hitting it at just a 28.6-percent clip so far this season. West will get first crack on him to open the game and then Jason Terry, averaging a 29.4 minutes a game, will take over.

Injuries: Mavs - G Vince Carter (sprained left foot) is out. Hornets - G Eric Gordon (bruised right knee) is out; G Xavier Henry (ankle sprain) is questionable.

Up next: Phoenix Suns at Mavs, 7:30 p.m., Monday