The AP reports: Chris Paul had 24 points, 15 assists and 11 rebounds, and the Hornets held on for a 99-94 victory over the Dallas Mavericks to win their first-round series in five games… David West scored 25 points for New Orleans and Jannero Pargo had 17, while Tyson Chandler had 10 points and 14 rebounds… Dirk Nowitzki led Dallas with 22 points and 13 rebounds, and Devean George added 11 points in the fourth quarter as Dallas nearly pulled off an improbable comeback. The Mavs cut a 17-point deficit to three in the final seven minutes before Peja Stojakovic hit a pair of free throws to seal it with 5.7 seconds left. Tempers flared near the end, and Jerry Stackhouse was ejected for a second technical foul with 1:47 left after slapping the ball out of Paul’s hands during a stoppage in play, then getting in a face-to-face standoff with West. Dallas never led and was hurt badly by an 11-1 Hornets run after Nowitzki’s free throw had pulled the Mavs to 73-66 early in the fourth quarter. Dallas played solid defense on New Orleans’ next possession, keeping the ball on the perimeter, but Pargo hit a deflating 3 at the shot clock buzzer.

InsideHoops.com Stat Notes: The Hornets shot 48.7%, the Mavs 42.7%. The Hornets nailed a fantastic 8-of-14 three-pointers (four guys had two each), the Mavs just 9-of-26 (Nowitzki, Josh Howard and Stackhouse combined for 1-of-11 threes). Rebounding and assists were close. Both teams controlled the ball well. For the Hornets, Chris Paul had 24 points, 11 rebounds, 15 assists (no turnovers!) and 2 steals. David West had 15 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 blocks. Jannero Pargo (7-of-9) had 17 points and 3 rebounds. Peja Stojakovic shot just 2-of-12 for 11 points and 6 rebounds. Tyson Chandler had 10 points, 14 rebounds and 3 blocks. For the Mavericks, Nowitzki shot just 8-of-21 for 22 points, 13 rebounds, 6 assists and 2 blocks. Six other Mavs scored between 11 and 14 points. Jason Terry had 13 points with 9 assists. Jason Kidd had 14 points, 4 rebounds, 9 assists and no turnovers. Josh Howard had a modest 12 points with 9 rebounds and more turnovers than assists. Brandon Bass had 9 rebounds off the bench.