Charlotte Hornets

Small lineup pays dividends in Charlotte Hornets’ road victory against Dallas Mavericks

Dallas Mavericks guard Devin Harris (34) launches a shot against Roy Hibbert (55) of the Charlotte Hornets during Monday night’s game.
Dallas Mavericks guard Devin Harris (34) launches a shot against Roy Hibbert (55) of the Charlotte Hornets during Monday night’s game. Getty Images

It sure looked like the Dallas Mavericks did the Charlotte Hornets a favor Monday by going small in the fourth quarter.

The Mavericks lost center Andrew Bogut early in this game to a knee injury, and might not have had much choice. That allowed the Hornets to keep their midsized offensive players on the court during a 109-101 victory at American Airlines Center.

The only Hornets big man on the floor, Cody Zeller, blocked a driving layup by Deron Williams in the last minute. That set up Jeremy Lamb with a 3-pointer to spread Charlotte’s lead to six with 13.5 seconds left.

The victory made the Hornets 12-9 this season, while the Mavericks fell to 4-16.

Point guard Kemba Walker led the Hornets with 19 points. Nic Batum finished with 14 points and a season-high 15 rebounds.

The Mavericks got 29 points from forward Harrison Barnes.

Three who mattered

Barnes: Looked like the big-time scorer the Mavericks hoped he’d be.

Deron Williams: Outplayed the younger, quicker Walker much of this game.

Marco Belinelli: He seemed like the only Hornet who could make a 3-pointer.

Observations

▪  The Hornets will have Marvin Wiliams (hyperextended left knee) participate in a 2-on-2 or 3-on-3 scrimmage Tuesday. If he comes out of that well physically, the team plans to activate him for Wednesday’s home game against the Detroit Pistons, coach Steve Clifford said.

▪  Walker had the best November in Charlotte Hornets history, in terms of scoring. His 24.4 points per game edged out Larry Johnson’s 24.3 average during the 1995-96 season.

▪  The Mavericks’ decision to invest big on former Golden State Warrior Barnes is a youth movement, as the Mavs prepare for the eventual retirement of forward Dirk Nowitzki. He has been out with an Achilles injury, but has been a key player in Dallas since 1999.

▪  Hornets forward-center Frank Kaminsky is averaging 2.8 assists per game. The only 7-footer in the NBA with a higher assist average is Memphis’s Marc Gasol at 3.9 per game.

▪  Clifford said before the game that foul shooting has already cost his team two victories. Monday the Hornets made all 16 of their free throws in the first three quarters.

Worth mentioning

▪  Mavericks guard Seth Curry missed both games this season against his hometown Hornets with a sprained knee.

▪  Mavericks center Bogut hurt his knee during a scramble for the ball in the first quarter and immediately hobbled to the training room. He sat out the rest of the game.

▪  The Hornets missed their first 14 attempts from 3-point range.

Report card

B OFFENSE: A mixed bag – dramatically better at the foul line, dramatically worse than normal from 3-point range.

C- DEFENSE: Gave up far too many open 3-pointers

C COACHING: Boy, could they use 30 minutes of a healthy Marvin Williams.

Rick Bonnell: 704-358-5129, @rick_bonnell

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