The Charlotte Hornets won their third straight game, defeating the Dallas Mavericks, 102-98. Kemba Walker led the team in scoring with 24 points, while Dwight Howard finished with 18 points and 23 rebounds. In doing so, he became the Hornets single season record holder for rebounds in a season.
Dallas led after one quarter, going up by as much as seven after the Hornets held the early lead. But the Hornets exploded for 32 points in the second quarter, outscoring the Mavericks by 11 to lead by six at halftime. Malik Monk scored five straight for the Hornets early in the second before Frank Kaminsky tied things up at 30-30 with a 3. After some back and forth between the squads, Treveon Graham and Monk knocked down two more consecutive 3’s to give the Hornets a five point lead. Charlotte led by as much as 10 in the quarter, but a 6-2 run by Dallas to end the half cut it to six.
The Hornets jumped out to an 13 point lead mid-way through the third, and headed into the fourth quarter up by 9. Dallas came storming back early in the fourth, however, cutting the lead to three with nine minutes remaining. Walker briefly doubled the lead with a 3-pointer, but Dallas came right back, cutting the score to 87-86 with 5:59 remaining.
Up two with 5.6 seconds remaining, the Hornets forced Dennis Smith Jr. to turn it over. Marvin Williams was fouled and knocked down both free throws, thus giving the Hornets a two possession lead with not enough time remaining.
While the Hornets almost gave the game away, they managed to hold out for their third straight win. Neither team shot particularly well, with both shooting under 40 percent from the field. The difference came down to 3-point shooting, where Charlotte shot 48 percent from deep compared to 29.3 percent for Dallas.
Of the 12 total 3’s Dallas made, Harrison Barnes was responsible for five, but he made just one field goal that wasn’t a 3-pointer, and finished with just 18 points. Smith Jr. led the Mavericks with 21 points on 8-for-17 shooting.
The Hornets get a day off before taking on the New York Knicks tomorrow tonight.