Kemba Walker overcame an otherwise forgettable night by hitting two fourth-quarter 3-pointers in leading the Charlotte Hornets to a 97-87 home victory over the Dallas Mavericks.
Walker had a rough shooting night, making seven of 19 shots from the field and three of 10 from 3-point range. But he was clutch when it mattered, beating the 24-second shot clock with the first of those two 3s.
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The Hornets improved to 11-8. Though they never trailed, they couldn’t build much of a cushion over a Mavericks team that is 3-15.
Walker led five double-figure scorers with 18 points. Harrison Barnes scored 17 for Dallas.
Three who mattered
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist: Some excellent defense on Harrison Barnes and he was efficient offensively, too.
Roy Hibbert: Probably his best game since sitting out with a sore and swollen knee.
Justin Anderson: Provided the Mavericks some much-needed scoring off the bench.
▪ The NBA fined Detroit Pistons center Andre Drummond $15,000 for hitting the back of Hornets center Roy Hibbert’s head with an elbow Tuesday. Drummond was charged with a Flagrant Foul 2, an automatic ejection.
▪ The Hornets got back guard-forward Jeremy Lamb, who missed most of the fourth quarter Tuesday after suffering a knee contusion.
▪ Charlottean Seth Curry, now playing guard for the Mavericks, missed this game with a sprained right knee.
▪ Asked Thursday how important injured forward Marvin Williams is to the Hornets’ defense, coach Steve Clifford said, “He’s our Thomas Davis/Luke Kuechly,” referring to the Carolina Panthers’ star linebackers.
▪ The Hornets spent the last six minutes of the first quarter in the bonus, thanks to the Mavericks’ constant fouling.
▪ All ten Hornets who played in the first half scored.
▪ Foul shooting continues to be a problem; the Hornets made eight of 14 first-half free throws.
▪ The Hornets offense bogs down when the ball doesn’t get to the lane. In the first half, the Hornets outscored the Mavericks 18 to 10 in points in the paint.
C+ OFFENSE: Far too many missed free throws and 3-pointers.
B+ DEFENSE: They held the Mavericks below 40 percent shooting most of this game.
B COACHING: It was far from pretty, but Hornets got above .500 at home with this one.
Rick Bonnell: 704-358-5129, @rick_bonnell