Mavs notch rare road win vs Hornets
CHARLOTTE, USA – Road games have been the waterloo for the Dallas Mavericks this season. Playing the second of a 4 road-game stretch, the Mavericks didn’t show any nerves as they rolled past the Charlotte Hornets, 122-84, in the NBA on Wednesday, January 2 (Thursday, January 3, Manila time).
Rookie sensation Luka Doncic and sophomore Dennis Smith Jr led the charge. Doncic had 18 points, 10 rebounds and 4 assists, while Smith Jr tallied 18 points, 7 assists and 3 steals.
The Mavericks opened the game with some scorching hot shooting from the outside as they shot 10 thee-point shots in the 1st quarter. Doncic went 3-for-5 while Smith went 2-for-3 from the outside.
At halftime, the Mavericks were up 65-41.
The Charlotte crowd was waiting for a comeback in the 3rd quarter but miscues and the Mavs’ dominance on the boards and hot-shooting paved the way for the Dallas road victory.
The Mavericks, who snapped a nine-game losing skid in road games, held a league-worst 2-16 record on the road entering their first game for the New Year.
The Hornets missed two injured starters – center Cody Zeller and guard Jeremy Lamb. Inserted into the lineup were Spanish center Willy Hernangomez and rookie Devonte Graham.
The Hornets led early, 16-12, before Dallas coach Rick Carlisle regrouped his troops and that’s when the Mavericks started scorching the home team and never looked back.
Kemba Walker had an off-night tallying just 10 points and went 4-for-14 field goals. Graham filled in, adding 10 points but was saddled with early foul trouble.
“We played a very good game and we showed what we’re capable of. The ball moved great, the mindset was good,” Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle said in his post-game interview.
“Things just don’t happen. You’ve got to make them happen. The guys were ready to play tonight. You could sense it in the locker room beforehand. It was just going to be a matter of how we managed the game, managed turnovers and rebounds and stuff. They did a terrific job.
“We’re moving on. It ain’t getting easier to going to Boston and Philly, but this was a good win for us.”
The Mavericks face the Celtics for their third road game on Friday (8:30 am Saturday, Manila) and go against the 76ers on Saturday (8:30am Sunday, Manila). Both games will air on NBA Premium TV.
Game notes: Mavericks assistant coach Stephen Silas was welcomed warmly in the arena, having served as the Hornets franchise in different capacities from scout to assistant coach. – Rappler.com