for this game

Mavs top Hornets, get seventh seed and a rematch

Apr 17, 2008 - 5:22 AM DALLAS (Ticker) -- Jason Kidd and Jason Terry had big nights to help the Dallas Mavericks lock up the seventh seed in the Western Conference. Now, they will just have to repeat Wednesday's performance four more times.

Kidd recorded his 100th career triple-double and Terry scored 30 points off the bench to spark the Mavericks to a 111-98 victory over the New Orleans Hornets in the regular season finale for both teams.

Dallas controlled its own destiny entering Wednesday and avoided a matchup with the Los Angeles Lakers with the win. Now, the Mavericks will face the Hornets when the playoffs start this weekend. Had the Mavericks lost, Denver could have slipped into the seventh spot with a win later Wednesday.

"I don't know if we sent a message," Dallas coach Avery Johnson said. "It is what it is. Now, we'll open up in New Orleans."

Kidd collected 27 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists to help Dallas even the season series between the teams at 2-2. New Orleans was looking to win the season series for the first time since 1997-98 when the franchise was located in Charlotte.

"I'm happy we ended the season on a positive note," Kidd said. "You want to go into the postseason with some confidence. It's a big win for us because we were in control of our own destiny."

Dallas pulled away late, thanks to Terry and Kidd. New Orleans pulled within 98-94 on a jumper in the lane by David West with 3:20 to play, but Dallas responded with a 13-4 run to close out the game.

"Jason really got to the basket tonight and gave us all a lot of open looks," Terry said. "That's what sets me up, getting to the basket, getting easy ones, and it makes the three-ball that much easier."

Terry hit a pair of jumpers around another hoop by West to give the Mavs a 102-96 edge. Brandon Bass then came up with a big block of West and Josh Howard hit a 3-pointer from the corner on the Mavericks' ensuing possession to make it 105-96.

Kidd set up Howard's 3-pointer, recovering a loose ball under the basket and passing out to Howard, who had spotted up in the corner.

"He was involved at both ends of the floor," Johnson said of Kidd. "They were trying to make him score. I don't think Dirk saw single coverage one time tonight."

Dallas took a 108-96 lead on Dirk Nowitzki's 3-pointer with 1:28 left, and the game was essentially over.

West scored 26 points and Chris Paul had 20 and 10 assists for New Orleans, which will be the No. 2 seed in the West.

"We had an opportunity to win tonight," Paul said. "They did an outstanding job moving the ball, and Jason Kidd hit a lot of shots. Now, we are going to see what happens in a seven-game series."

Despite the loss, New Orleans (56-26) still had a breakthrough season and won a division title for the first time in the franchise's 20-year history. But all that goes out the window at playoff time.

"We've just got to come out, play our game, defend for 48 minutes and understand that all of this regular-season stuff is over and done with," Paul said. "It's all about what happens in that first game of the series."