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Mavs try to bolster perimeter offense at deadline

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DALLAS (AP)

Mavericks owner Mark Cuban marveled at how unusually quiet things were before Thursday's trade deadline.

That never changed much, although Dallas did make a minor swap of guards with Atlanta, sending defensive specialist Dahntay Jones to the Hawks for Anthony Morrow in hopes of adding a 3-point threat alongside O.J. Mayo and Vince Carter.

Morrow, like so many other Mavericks, has an expiring contract, which means any substantial upgrades of the Dallas roster will have to wait for the summer when Dwight Howard and Chris Paul top the list of unrestricted free agents.

For now, the Mavericks add Morrow in their push to extend a 12-year playoff streak. Dallas is 4 1/2 games behind Houston for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

Morrow has averaged 5.2 points in just 24 games while battling right hip and back injuries. The fifth-year player was acquired by the Hawks when they sent Joe Johnson to Brooklyn. Morrow has played just two of the past 25 games.

Morrow shot better than 45 percent from 3-point range his first two seasons, both with Golden State. He averaged a career-high 13.2 points per game two seasons ago with the Nets.

''He's one of the best shooters in the game,'' Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said. ''You can never have too many shooters.''

Jones started 15 games for Dallas, but was used mostly for defensive reasons. He averaged 3.5 points in 50 games and shot just 22 percent from 3-point range and 36 percent overall. He came to the Mavericks along with point guard Darren Collison in an offseason trade that sent center Ian Mahinmi to Indiana.

Morrow shot 42 percent on 3-pointers in a four-year career at Georgia Tech. He is 15 of 38 from long range (39.5 percent) this season. Morrow is the likely backup to Mayo at shooting guard, and Carter will continue to play an important 3-point role as the sixth man. Carter has 10 3-pointers the past two games.

''It's pretty clear that we were in the market for a shooter and we feel that we made a major upgrade,'' Mavericks president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson said.

Tagged: Hawks, Mavericks, Vince Carter, Anthony Morrow

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