Darren Collison may not be back for a second year in Dallas after twice losing the starting job at point guard on a team that couldn’t extend a 12-season playoff streak.

He at least left owner Mark Cuban and coach Rick Carlisle with something to ponder.

Collison scored 25 points, Dirk Nowitzki added 16 and the Mavericks finished their worst season in 13 years with a 99-87 victory in New Orleans’ final game as the Hornets on Wednesday night.

“Personally, I felt like I withstood some things a lot of players can’t withstand,” Collison said. “I had a lot of point guards come in and start in front of me. But I put my head down and kept working. It’s good to leave on a good note.”

The Mavericks (41-41) avoided their first losing record since going 40-42 in 1999-2000 — Nowitzki’s second season and also the last time they missed the playoffs.

Al-Farouq Amini had 16 points and a career-high 20 rebounds for New Orleans, which will become the Pelicans next season. Eric Gordon also scored 16 for the Hornets, and Robin Lopez had a double-double with 14 points and 13 boards.

Collison, brought in to bring youth to the Dallas backcourt but twice replaced in the starting lineup by 30-something point guards, scored 13 in the first half and was 10-of-15 from the field for the game.

Mike James, the 37-year-old who joined Dallas on a 10-day contract and replaced Collison in early March when Carlisle decided the young guard was a better threat off the bench, went 3-for-4 from 3-point range for nine points.

Shawn Marion scored 15 for the Mavs.

“I thought we had some guys play well, but I thought (Collison) was our most consistent and most dynamic guy out there,” Carlisle said.

Nowitzki, who also had a team-high nine rebounds, scored nine points in the third quarter, including a three-point play on a jumper and his one-legged step-back shot to beat the buzzer for a 75-64 lead.

The Hornets got within six in the fourth quarter, but Collison scored eight straight points to key an 18-4 run that put the Mavs ahead by 20.

“Guys fought, battled,” New Orleans coach Monty Williams said. “Guys played out of position most of the season for us. I wish we would have had a healthy team from the start to finish, but that’s not something we can complain about right now.”