The Mavericks own the second-best record in the league, trailing only Southwest Division rival San Antonio. Dallas, though, has made its mark despite people going in and out of the lineup all season.
"That's been kind of the story all year," Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said.
Carlisle was forced to use his 17th different starting lineup Wednesday with Peja Stojakovic out. He has started the previous 13 games before being sidelined by a stiff back and neck.
The Spurs, by contrast, have used just three starting combinations. And San Antonio's usual opening five had started 60 of 63 games going into Wednesday.
The most games Carlisle has gotten out of any one group has been 20. That unit, which included Caron Butler, went 17-3. Butler, of course, is done for the regular season.
The three starting lineups with Stojakovic were 11-2. Shawn Marion filled in Stojakovic against the Hornets, joining Dirk Nowitzki, Tyson Chandler, Jason Kidd and Roddy Beaubois for the opening tip.
The Mavs (46-18) would rather not use their 18th starting lineup Thursday back home against New York. It'll be Dallas' fourth game in the last five games.
HORNETS 93, MAVERICKS 92: New Orleans finished the game with an 8-0 run to hand Dallas its eighth straight regular-season loss in the Big East and 11th counting the playoffs. The Mavs appeared to be in control late, riding Dirk Nowitzki (26 points) to a seven-point lead with 1:13 left before the improbable Hornets' rally. Nowitzki missed a contested jumper on Dallas' last possession. New Orleans also won despite not having Chris Paul.
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