Charlotte Hornets

Kemba Walker’s late 3-pointers lead Charlotte Hornets past Dallas Mavericks

Charlotte Hornets guard Kemba Walker (15) defends a jump shot by Dallas Mavericks guard Deron Williams.
Charlotte Hornets guard Kemba Walker (15) defends a jump shot by Dallas Mavericks guard Deron Williams. AP

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.

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.

Observations

▪  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.

Worth mentioning

▪  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.

Report card

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

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