Where: American Airlines Center; Dallas, Texas
When: 8:30 p.m. EST
How to watch: Fox Sports Southeast, NBA League Pass
The Charlotte Hornets playoff chances are almost guaranteed to run out. Even though they’ve won their last two games, they haven’t gotten any help to move up in the standings to make a challenge. However, the Hornets have put together some team and individual historic performances lately. They will look to continue this trend when they hit the road against the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday night.
Dwight Howard recorded 32 point, 30 rebound effort in a, 111-105, comeback win against the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday. The next night on a back-to-back, they posted the largest margin of victory in franchise history with a, 140-79, drubbing of the Memphis Grizzlies. This was one the back of an insane performance by Kemba Walker.
The two-time All Star scored 46 points and made a franchise-record 10 3-pointers. He went 13-for-18 from the field, 10-for-14 from 3 and 10-for-10 from the free-throw line. Kemba did this all in only 28 minutes and sat the fourth quarter as well. In what has been a disappointing season, the captain has been the most consistent player for the Hornets all year.
Meanwhile, the Mavericks have also struggled a lot this season. They come into this game at 22-50 and 13th in the western conference. Harrison Barnes and Dennis Smith Jr. have led the way as the two leading scorers. Even though their record doesn’t suggest it, Rick Carlisle is one of the best coaches in the NBA.
Despite getting Dwight Howard back from suspension, Nicolas Batum is likely out with his Achilles injury. The aforementioned Smith Jr. has missed the Mavericks last two games and he is questionable to play on Saturday with an ankle injury. The Hornets are looking to avenge their 115-111 home loss to the Mavericks the last time they met.
Although the game seems meaningless in terms of the playoff picture, this will be another chance for young players to take the spotlight on both sides. The Hornets and Mavericks should put up a lot of points in Dallas on Saturday night.