DALLAS — Life without Dirk Nowitzki started quite nicely for the Dallas Mavericks.
Josh Howard scored 32 points, Erick Dampier had 19 points and 17 rebounds and Jason Kidd neared a triple-double, lifting the Mavericks past the Los Angeles Clippers 103-90 on Tuesday night.
OK, so it was only the Clippers. Still, Dallas needed something to go right after dropping three consecutive games and losing its leading scorer and rebounder to a sprained ankle and knee. And this kind of team-wide effort could serve as a blueprint for how they hope to make up for Nowitzki's absence down the stretch.
"If everyone goes up four or five points, that'll cover it," Howard said.
Howard was an All-Star last season and was the team's top scorer for the early part of this season, but he's been fighting through injuries and learning to play with Kidd. This was easily his best game since the All-Star point guard arrived.
Corey Maggette scored 21 points before fouling out for the Clippers, who lost their eighth in a row.
HORNETS 114, PACERS 106, at Indianapolis — The All-Stars led the way for New Orleans. David West had 35 points and 16 rebounds, and Chris Paul finished with 31 points and 14 assists as the Hornets beat Indiana and won their fourth in a row to maintain the best record in the Western Conference.
SPURS 107, MAGIC 97, at Orlando, Fla. — Manu Ginobili scored 28 points and Michael Finley had 24 as San Antonio beat Orlando and won its fourth consecutive game.
BULLS 103, HAWKS 94, at Chicago — Drew Gooden scored a season-high 31 points and matched a season best with 16 rebounds as Chicago held on in the fourth quarter. Josh Childress scored 22, including eight in the fourth, to lead Atlanta.
JAZZ 128, BOBCATS 106, at Salt Lake City — Carlos Boozer had 28 points and 13 rebounds, and Deron Williams had 14 points and 15 assists to lead Utah.Jason Richardson scored 26 points and Gerald Wallace had 21 for the Charlotte, who lost their sixth consecutive road game.
TRAIL BLAZERS 102, WIZARDS 82, at Portland, Ore. — Martell Webster had 23 points, Travis Outlaw had 20 and Portland overcame the loss of top scorer Brandon Roy, who left with a strained right groin at the end of the first quarter, to beat Washington.