Charlotte Hornets

Mavericks end Hornets’ seven-game winning streak

Charlotte Hornets' Cody Zeller (40) looks to get his shot off against the defense of Dallas Maverick's Dirk Nowitzki (41) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Charlotte Monday.
Charlotte Hornets' Cody Zeller (40) looks to get his shot off against the defense of Dallas Maverick's Dirk Nowitzki (41) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Charlotte Monday. AP

The streak had to end sometime.

The Charlotte Hornets had won seven in a row and were matched against a Dallas Mavericks team that had lost five in a row. But the Hornets imploded offensively in the first half, missing numerous shots from the field and the foul line and committing 11 turnovers.

Though they made up a 19-point deficit to lead by two in the second half, they didn’t have enough left at the end and lost 107-96 at Time Warner Cable Arena.

Nic Batum (20 points and seven assists) was key to the third-quarter comeback that gave the Hornets a shot at extending their winning streak. Kemba Walker came back from a 2-of-10 shooting performance in the first half to score 25.

The Hornets (37-29) have a home game Wednesday against the Orlando Magic.

Three who mattered

Batum: His seven third-quarter points were crucial to getting the deficit down to a manageable number.

Dirk Nowitzki: A 20-10 night while playing mostly center for the Mavericks.

Walker: He tied the game at 71-71 with a bold pull-up 3-pointer in the third quarter.

Observations

▪  Hornets coach Steve Clifford said he liked what he got from Troy Daniels in the second half against the Houston Rockets. Daniels played in the minutes Jeremy Lamb would normally get.

▪  According to the Hornets, Walker’s 31 blocked shots entering the Mavericks game were the most by a player 6-1 or shorter.

▪  The Mavericks started this game with their small group, starting Raymond Felton instead of center Zaza Pachulia.

▪  Daniels again got minutes ahead of Lamb Monday.

▪  Three technical fouls in the first half, charged to Clifford, Walker and Nic Batum.

Worth mentioning

▪  Clifford said center Spencer Hawes (lower back strain) is doing more in shootarounds, but still isn’t close to being medically ready to play.

▪  The Hornets committed 11 first-half turnovers.

▪  Batum was the only Hornet to reach double-figures scoring by halftime. No other Hornet with more than six points..

Report card

D OFFENSE: A first half full of missed shots and turnovers dug a 19-point deficit.

C DEFENSE: They gave up way too many open looks late in Dallas possessions.

C COACHING: For the first time in several games the Hornets came out flat in the first quarter.

Bonnell: 704-358-5129; Twitter: @rick_bonnell

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