Rapid Reaction: Mavericks 99, Hornets 87

The fact that the New Orleans Hornets are horrible helped the Dallas Mavericks’ cause.

The Mavs actually had a little motivation, too, wanting to at least finish .500.

Point guard Darren Collison, perhaps playing his final game for the Mavs, lit up his former team for a game-high 25 points, his second-highest point total of the season. Collison was 10-of-15 from the floor in 29 minutes off the bench.

Dirk Nowitzki added 16 points and nine rebounds before sitting out the fourth quarter. Shawn Marion had 15 points and seven rebounds and exited to a nice ovation with a few minutes remaining.

Eric Gordon led New Orleans with 17 points, but he was 4-of-17 from the floor and committed four turnovers. The Hornets shot just 36.9 percent.

What it means: The Mavs avoided having a losing season for the first time since 1999-2000. They finished 41-41. The Hornets, who will now be known as the Pelicans, went 27-55.

Play of the game: Nowitzki knocked down one of his trademark one-legged fadeaways at the third-quarter buzzer to stretch the Mavs’ lead to double digits for the first time in the game. It was a vintage Nowitzki move, creating the shot off the dribble and launching the 16-footer over the outstretched arm of New Orleans 7-footer Robin Lopez.

Stat of the night: Hornets small forward Al-Farouq Aminu had a 14-8 rebounding advantage over the Mavericks in the first quarter. Aminu, who averages 7.5 rebounds per game, set a franchise record for rebounds in a quarter. He finished the game with a career-high 20 rebounds.