The Hornets started the game fast out the gate on offense with Bridges contributing 3 three-pointers, the ball was moving, and the offense was getting everyone involved Charlotte ended the 1st quarter with five different scorers and some impressive highlights including a 30-footer from LaMelo Ball way behind the three-point line. The defense was fairly good holding Luka Dončić to just two-points. But the perimeter defense still could be better Kleber burnt them on four three-pointers.
Best half of the season for LaMelo Ball against the Mavs tonight: 15 PTS, 6 REBS, 4 AST in 16 MIN. Knocked down 3 of 4 triples, moved it ahead in transition, made the right reads in PnR, attacked the glass. Off ball D still a work in progress but it looks like Ball is settling in pic.twitter.com/OgLTB3At1x— Mike Schmitz (@Mike_Schmitz) December 31, 2020
The 2nd quarter the Hornets offense took over the paint. Scoring at will around the rim, the void of Kristaps Porziņģis was felt massively as the Mavs have no answer in their front court. Charlotte put together a complete half of basketball limiting Luka to just four points as his impact was minimal. Also, another deep three from Ball in the second quarter this time from 28-feet out. He’s going to put so much pressure on defense’s if he continues to shoot the ball like this consistently from deep.
The 2nd half put a real bow on this game as the Hornets come out and dominate in the 3rd quarter. The Hornets defense tightened up and held Dallas to just 12-points, the offense was completely in sync as Charlotte knocked down four more three-pointers in the 3rd and out-scored the Mavericks 30-12. Terry Rozier led the way with 10-points in the quarter which helped Charlotte put this one to bed as the Hornets lead ballooned to 31-points at one point.
Miles isn’t going to get enough credit this year, but he is absolutely thriving in his roles off the bench, and he’s really asserting himself as the best defender on the team. This is one of the most complete games that Bridges has put together in his career. Miles walked away with 20 points and 16 rebounds and also contributed 2 blocks on defense. That was massive for a smaller team like Charlotte. If he can continue to give this version Miles Bridges off the bench consistently, the bench production will be the least of Charlotte’s concern this season.
This was by far the best game for LaMelo Ball and the most comfortable he’s looked all season. Ball ended the game with a career high 22 points including an efficient night from three-point range where he went 4/5. Ball’s development is a sight to see hopefully he continues to hone-in on his shooting and turn something that was considered a weakness in his game to a strength.
The Hornets are back at it again Friday against the Memphis Grizzlies who will be without their two best players in Ja Morant and Jaren Jackson Jr.