How it happened: After struggling to score for most of the fourth quarter, the Dallas Mavericks pulled off a stunning comeback in the final minute.
Hornets forward Ryan Anderson’s 3-pointer with a little less than a minute remaining felt like a dagger, stretching New Orleans’ lead to four points. Considering that Dallas had scored a grand total of two points over the previous six-plus minutes, that seemed like an insurmountable deficit.
However, the Mavs held the Hornets scoreless the rest of the game and made 3-pointers on the next two possessions. Mike James’ corner 3 cut the lead to one point, and Vince Carter’s long ball from the right wing gave the Mavs the lead for good with 6.5 seconds remaining.
Darren Collison sealed the win by making a pair of free throws with three seconds remaining.
Carter, the Mavs’ scorching-hot sixth man, scored 22 points on 7-of-13 shooting, including 5-of-7 from 3-point range. Dirk Nowitzki finished with 25 points -- one shy of his season high -- on 10-of-17 shooting.
It's the first time this season that the Mavs have trailed in the final minute and won.
What it means: The Mavs managed to pull out a must-win game in a building that has not been kind to them. The come-from-behind win kept the Mavs 4½ games behind the eighth-place Houston Rockets, who beat the Brooklyn Nets on Friday night. It’s the fifth win in the past six games for the 25-29 Mavs, who had lost 12 of their previous 13 games at New Orleans Arena, including the playoffs.
Play of the game: Carter got the ball on the right wing, faced up against New Orleans forward Jason Smith, jab-stepped and launched a 3-pointer that splashed through the net to give the Mavs a 102-100 lead with 6.5 seconds remaining.
Stat of the night: Carter moved past Gary Payton into 28th place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list with an and-1 putback late in the first quarter. Carter, who has 21,832 career points, also has passed Hal Greer and Larry Bird this season, and has a chance to catch Clyde Drexler (22,195) before the season ends.