What: Charlotte Hornets (16-35) vs Dallas Mavericks (31-20)
When: February 8th, 2020; 7:00 pm EST
Where: Spectrum Center; Charlotte, NC
How to watch: Fox Sports Southeast, NBA League Pass
The Hornets best win of the year thus far was their January 4th road victory against the Dallas Mavericks, one of the better teams in the competitive Western Conference. In that game Charlotte scored the final six points of regulation to force overtime then put the game away 123-120 behind a combined 56 points and 21 assists from Terry Rozier and Devonte’ Graham. Luka Doncic posted a tripe-double of 39 points, 12 rebounds, and 10 assists but his individual brilliance wasn’t enough to overcome the Hornets onslaught.
As the two teams prepare to face each other for the second and final time this season the Mavs will be without Doncic due to an ankle injury. Yes, the Hornets won the first meeting even with Doncic displaying his usual dominance, but in that game the Mavs were also without center Kristaps Porzingis. This time Doncic is out but Porzingis is in.
And Porzingis is hot.
The Mavs 7-foot-3 big man has been filling in the void created by Doncic’s absence. In the Mavericks last three games Porzingis has scored 35, 38, and 32 points, respectively, while hauling in 12 rebounds in each game. This includes hitting 11-of-24 three-pointers in his last two games. Yes, you read that correctly. The Mavs 7-foot-3 center has jacked up 24 threes in his last two games and hit nearly half of them. Few players in NBA history have had the combination of Porzingis’ height, shooting, and versatility.
The Hornets could use a win in the worst way. If you look up the definition of “reeling” in the dictionary there’s a picture of the Charlotte Hornets next to the entry. This young Hornets squad has lost 12 of their last 13 games and need a confidence building win. One reason for hope is the recent play of second-year forward Miles Bridges who has averaged 21 points and nearly nine rebounds over Charlotte’s last four games. If Bridges can stay hot we know the backcourt of Rozier and Graham can torch the Mavs defense. They’ve done it before this season.
The schedule is also doing Charlotte some favors. The Hornets last played on Tuesday and will be playing this one at home. Dallas, meanwhile, is playing its fourth game in six days and will be on the second night of a road back-to-back. Throw in Doncic’s absence and it almost feels like the universe is trying to lend the Hornets a helping hand.
Even without Luka Doncic suiting up this should still be a fun game to watch. Don’t be surprised to see the Hornets pull off a regular season sweep of one of the Western Conference’s better teams.
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Who wins this game?
This poll is closed
Hornets with an easy win
Hornets with a close win
Mavericks with a close win
Mavericks with an easy win