The Charlotte Hornets returned from a day off to take on the Dallas Mavericks in Day 5 of Orlando Summer League. Sitting in third place they had a chance to gain some points and jump up the standings. A potential run at the title game was in the works for them, but they were gonna need to grab as many points as possible.
The first quarter was more of what we had seen all week from the Hornets. They ran a few set plays, but for the most part they've tried to win games with dribble penetration. DeShaun Thomas and Aaron Harrison continued to play well as they have all week with Harrison growing more comfortable within his role as an off ball player. This led to a first quarter lead, and a point gained.
In the second quarter things shifted the other way in a hurry. The Dallas Mavericks took advantage of turnovers and some pretty bad offense to close the gap and take a lead. Towards the end of the quarter Charlotte was stuck in the mud on offense while Dallas continued their run to take a 38-32 lead into the half and grab the point for the quarter.
The third quarter things went much better for the Hornets. They quickly caught up to Dallas and seemed to re-gain some of their previous composure from earlier in the game. The problem was they didn't fix their issue with turnovers. At one point in the third quarter, DeShaun Thomas and Brandon Paul made two 3-pointers in a row only to have the lead they built immediately erased by three straight turnovers.
The fourth quarter had similar issues. Any time Charlotte would build a lead it would be immediately erased due to sloppy basketball. Yet despite the issues the Hornets were in a close game towards the end. Dallas's Vander Blue took over for the Mavericks late, but Mike Tobey came alive on the boards and brought the Hornets back. His two straight offensive rebounds tied up the game. Unfortunately for Charlotte it wasn't enough as another Dallas make couldn't be cleaned up, and the Hornets fell.
Some of the tired legs are beginning to show with many players needing a lot of shots to reach point totals. However, we did see a very good performance out of Mike Tobey, who finished with 16 points and 14 rebounds. Brandon Paul had a very good game himself with 17 points and seven rebounds. Unfortunately, the Hornets only came away with two points so it's unlikely they will be playing in the championship game on Friday.