Rapid Reaction: Hornets 97, Mavs 92

How it happened: Dirk Nowitzki was bad. Jason Terry was worse. The Dallas defense was a disgrace. And the rebounding was ridiculous.

That’s how the Mavs managed to lose to a team that was missing four key players and has the worst record in the Western Conference.

Nowitzki, who looked like he had no lift a couple nights after his lower back locked up, had almost as many turnovers (six) as buckets (seven). He finished with 19 points on 7-of-19 shooting, including a couple of too-little, too-late 3-pointers.

That looks like an extremely efficient night compared to Terry’s terrible performance. Terry’s road woes continued with a two-point, 1-of-9 shooting night. Terry, who prides himself in being a clutch performer, watched the final 10 minutes from the bench as the Mavs’ rally from a double-digit deficit fell short.

The short-handed Hornets, who rank 29th out of 30 NBA teams in scoring offense, had six guys in double figures. That included rarely used reserve guard Xavier Henry, who had a career-high 19 points on 8-of-12 shooting.

And the Mavs got outrebounded by a 50-34 margin.

What a recipe for disaster. Not even a 25-point performance by Rodrigue Beaubois could save the Mavs.

What it means: If this isn’t rock bottom for the Mavs, they’re really in trouble. They’ve lost four consecutive games for the first time this season, falling into seventh place in the West. They've lost three games in four nights and have six more on the schedule in the next eight days. And they’ve got less than 24 hours to lick their wounds and rest their legs before playing the Utah Jazz at the American Airlines Center.

Bold play of the game: Nowitzki’s sixth turnover was a killer. With the Mavs trailing by four with less than four minutes remaining, Henry picked off a sloppy pass out of a double-team, resulting in a breakaway dunk.

Stat of the night: The Mavs have lost nine of their last 10 games in New Orleans Arena.