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Preview: Hornets look to make it four straight against surging Mavericks

The Mavericks will be without a key piece for the Saturday showdown.

NBA: Dallas Mavericks at Charlotte Hornets Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

What: Charlotte Hornets (35-35) vs Dallas Mavericks (43-27)

When: 7:00 pm EDT

Where: Spectrum Center; Charlotte, NC

How to watch: Bally Sports Southeast, NBA League Pass

Tonight’s match-up is between two teams that are trending up down the home stretch of the season. The Hornets are winners of three straight, while the Mavericks are 26-9 since the start of the new year. The Mavericks had won back to back contests over the Celtics and Nets before finally dropping a game to the 76ers last night.

The Mavericks go as Luka Doncic goes, as has been the case for the last several years. There were a lot of rumblings that he came into the season out of shape as he and the Mavericks stumbled out of the gate. He’s played his way into form now though. He’s averaging 29.5 points, 10.1 rebounds, and 8.7 assists per game since the start of 2022. He’s averaging 33.2 points per game since the Mavericks traded away Kristaps Porzingis on February 10th.

The Mavericks will be without the key piece that they got in return for Porzingis. Spencer Dinwiddie is second on the team in both scoring and assists since he was acquired, but he’ll sit out tonight as the Mavericks manage his recovery from his knee injury last season. Jalen Brunson will fill that void, while the rest of the Mavs roster is largely compromised of catch-and-finish offensive players with strong defensive traits.

The Hornets will have a full squad save for the still injured Gordon Hayward. They’ve won three straight games thanks in large part to an offense that’s been firing on all cylinders. They’ve shot 54.3% from the field and 45.3% from three during their three game winning streak while hitting 17.7 3-pointers per game.

The Hornets are -1.5 point favorites tonight according to DraftKings Sportsbook. The over/under is set at 223.5, which seems somewhat low given the offensive output of the Hornets in recent games.

Check out DraftKings Sportsbook, the official sportsbook partner of SB Nation.