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.
▪ 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.
▪ 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.
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