Nowitzki leads Mavericks to 7th straight win

DALLAS (AP) - Dirk Nowitzki scored 36 points, Caron Butler had 19 in his return to the Dallas lineup and the Mavericks held on for a 108-100 victory over the New Orleans Hornets on Sunday night to extend their NBA-high winning streak to seven games.

The Hornets had cut what had been a 25-point deficit to 101-97 after Darren Collison's 3-pointer with 2:44 left capped the rookie's stretch of eight consecutive points. But New Orleans didn't get any closer and Collison, who had a season-high 35 points, had consecutive turnovers in the final minute that Dallas turned into baskets. Nowitzki hit a 9-foot turnaround jumper after Collison's first turnover.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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