2017 Preseason Game 6: Mavs at Hornets

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CHARLOTTE — Hoping to finish the preseason strong after capturing four of their previous five exhibition outings, the Dallas Mavericks stepped into the Spectrum Center with plenty of confidence Friday night.

Flying high after Thursday’s 108-94 win in Atlanta, the Mavericks tried to continue building momentum before next Wednesday’s regular-season opener at home against the Hawks. The Mavs also hoped to perform well in their last dress rehearsal, taking the court with nearly their full complement of players before matching up against the upstart Hornets. Instead, the Mavericks (4-2) would fall to a 111-96 defeat, heading into the 2017-18 regular season on a sour note.

“I think that was good for us to come out and lose like that, even with our vets on the team as well,” rookie point guard Dennis Smith Jr. said after the loss. “You know, we don’t want to think anything is sweet going into the regular season. We just got whooped by the Hornets, who’s a good team, so it was a reality check. You know, we’ve got to come out and compete.”

Returning to the court after exiting during the first half of Thursday’s win due to a left ankle sprain, Smith remained in the starting lineup during his return to North Carolina. Smith, a native of Fayetteville, N.C., was then joined in the first unit by second-year standout Yogi Ferrell, swingman Wesley Matthews, leading scorer Harrison Barnes and 13-time All-Star Dirk Nowitzki.

However, despite an early three-pointer from Smith, the Mavs would find themselves playing from behind while getting off to a sluggish start. A trailer three-pointer from Nowitzki in transition would settle the Mavericks down, tying the score at 10-all. Smith followed suit a short time later with a three of his own as the Mavs pulled in front. Still, despite 18 combined points from the duo of Smith and Barnes in the opening quarter, the Mavericks trailed 28-27 entering the second stanza.

Starting the second quarter with a lineup of backup point guard J.J. Barea, veteran Devin Harris, second-year forward Dorian Finney-Smith, big man Dwight Powell and Nowitzki, the Mavs attempted to surge in front. A triple from Barea would put the visiting Mavericks back ahead, sparking an 8-0 run to take a 35-30 lead.

Barea stayed on the attack from there, converting Nowitzki’s bullet pass into a three-point play before also swishing another trey to lift Dallas to a 40-34 advantage with 8:20 left in the half. The Hornets (2-3) countered with a heavy dose of point guard Kemba Walker to rally in front of their hometown fans. Not to be outdone, Barnes increased his level of aggression at the other end of the floor. Barnes’ 17-point half then sent the Mavericks into the intermission with a 56-54 edge.

“I mean, rebounding and free throws. Anytime I can attack, I believe that’s going to help us,” Barnes would later say.

Led by Barnes’ 5-of-7 shooting through two quarters, the Mavericks held the lead while slightly outshooting the Hornets in the first half, 51.3 percent to 51.2 percent. The two teams also battled to a 17-all rebounding stalemate as the Mavericks forced the Hornets into 10 turnovers.

Opening the second half with a corner three-pointer from Matthews off a driving assist from Smith, the Mavericks tried to create some breathing room in the third quarter. Nowitzki added a three of his own a short time later, cashing in off Smith’s seventh assist of the night. And after Smith found Nowitzki again behind the three-point arc, the Mavs opened up a 67-62 lead.

Frustration then began to boil over for the Hornets’ bench, leading to a technical foul call on coach Steve Clifford with 6:10 left in the third. But with center Dwight Howard having his way inside, the Hornets charged back while retaking the lead. Walker went back to work from there, sending the Hornets into the final quarter with an 82-81 edge.

Exchanging haymakers as the fourth period got underway, the two teams continued to trade score for score. Nowitzki then tried to will his team in front, swishing a mid-range jumper to put the Mavs up 89-88. But after rookie Malik Monk’s driving up-and-under score, the Hornets opened up a 98-89 lead with 4:32 remaining as big man Johnny O’Bryant III began to assert himself. The Dallas deficit reached double figures soon after that before Mavs coach Rick Carlisle pulled his top contributors and finished off the loss with the Dallas reserves.

Scoring 24 points on 8-of-19 shooting, Barnes led the Mavericks in a losing effort. Nowitzki added 14 points and nine rebounds inside, and Barea scored 13 points off the bench. Meanwhile, Smith tallied 10 points, two rebounds and nine assists in his return to North Carolina.

“I think we accomplished a lot,” Barnes said while summing up the preseason. “We got a chance to definitely get our conditioning in, get a feel and let guys get a rhythm. I think last night was good for our young guys, and tonight was good for our vets to go out there and just play together. And I think we have enough of a base to go out there on Wednesday.”

Walker led seven Hornets in double figures with 18 points on 7-of-14 shooting. The Hornets also finished the game outshooting the Mavs, 49.4 percent to 41.2 percent, adding a 50-37 rebounding advantage to overcome 22 turnovers.

“All and all there were a lot of positives, but tonight was a downer for us,” Carlisle concluded. “We did some good things early in the second half, but they just outlasted us. I thought they outworked us at certain points, and that kind of thing can’t happen. So, we’ve got a few days, and we’re going to need those few days to prepare for Atlanta and then Sacramento. And the two games at home to start the season are big for us.”

Note: The Mavericks will now return to American Airlines Center on Oct. 18 for the regular-season opener against the Atlanta Hawks. That game will tip off at 7:30 p.m. CT, airing locally on Fox Sports Southwest and 103.3 FM ESPN. The game will also air in Spanish on KFLC AM 1270. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by visiting Mavs.com, or by calling (214) 747-MAVS.

Injury updates:

Seth Curry (stress reaction, left tibia) — not with the team
Josh McRoberts (rest) — not with the team

Mavericks

All Stats

PLAYER MIN FG 3PT FT OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF +/- PTS
W. Matthews, SF 33 3-10 1-6 0-0 1 2 3 0 0 1 1 4 -14 7
H. Barnes, PF 33 8-19 0-0 8-9 1 4 5 2 1 0 0 2 -14 24
D. Nowitzki, C 25 4-11 3-7 3-4 1 8 9 3 2 2 1 1 9 14
Y. Ferrell, SG 27 3-8 1-5 0-0 0 4 4 4 0 0 4 1 -9 7
D. Smith Jr., PG 26 4-9 2-3 0-0 0 2 2 9 3 0 3 2 -9 10
N. Noel 18 1-2 0-0 0-0 1 3 4 0 1 1 0 3 -17 2
J. Barea 17 4-10 3-4 2-2 1 3 4 4 0 0 1 0 -3 13
D. Harris 16 3-7 1-3 1-2 1 0 1 1 4 1 2 1 -3 8
D. Finney-Smith 14 0-2 0-1 0-0 0 2 2 1 0 0 1 0 -1 0
D. Powell 12 4-5 1-1 0-0 0 1 1 0 0 0 1 1 0 9
S. Mejri 5 1-1 0-0 0-0 0 2 2 0 0 1 0 0 -8 2
G. Clavell 3 0-1 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 -3 0
M. Wayns 3 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 -3 0
B. Ashley 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
S. Curry 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
P. Dozier 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
M. Kleber 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
J. McRoberts 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
J. Motley 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
J. Withey 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
TEAM   35-85 12-31 14-17 6 31 37 25 11 6 0 15   96
    41.2% 38.7%                      

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Hornets

All Stats

PLAYER MIN FG 3PT FT OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF +/- PTS
M. Williams, SF 22 4-8 3-5 0-0 0 3 3 1 0 0 1 1 -1 11
F. Kaminsky, PF 21 4-7 4-5 0-0 0 7 7 3 0 0 0 3 3 12
D. Howard, C 26 4-7 0-0 0-1 5 7 12 3 3 1 7 2 7 8
D. Bacon, SG 35 6-15 2-4 0-0 0 5 5 4 0 0 1 1 14 14
K. Walker, PG 27 7-14 2-3 2-3 0 4 4 4 1 1 4 2 2 18
M. Monk 30 5-11 2-5 2-3 1 3 4 3 0 0 1 2 22 14
T. Henderson 23 1-4 1-2 0-0 1 2 3 1 1 2 2 3 3 3
C. Zeller 24 4-6 0-0 3-4 0 4 4 3 1 0 3 3 9 11
J. O'Bryant III 19 5-9 2-4 3-3 2 4 6 1 0 0 1 4 6 15
M. Paige 2 2-2 1-1 0-0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 5 5
M. Mathiang 2 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 5 0
T. Williams 1 0-1 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
I. Hicks 1 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0
N. Batum 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
M. Carter-Williams 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
T. Graham 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
M. Kidd-Gilchrist 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
J. Lamb 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
L. Petrasek 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
J. Stone 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
TEAM   42-85 17-30 10-14 9 41 50 24 6 4 1 21   111
    49.4% 56.7%                      

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Quick Strike

Yogi Ferrell catches Harrison Barnes cutting to the basket for the high-flying slam.

Postgame: Rick Carlisle

Mavs head coach Rick Carlisle weighs in on Friday's preseason finale against Charlotte.

Postgame: Harrison Barnes

Mavs F Harrison Barnes dishes on his 24-point performance in Friday's preseason finale against the Hornets.

Postgame: Dennis Smith Jr.

Mavs G Dennis Smith Jr. says his ankle felt good after Friday's preseason finale against the Hornets.

GAME RECAP: Hornets 111, Mavericks 96

Kemba Walker leads a balanced attack scoring 18 points with four rebounds and four assists to lead the Hornets over the Mavericks, 111-96.

CHARLOTTE — After seeing their first-round draft pick go down in the first half of Thursday’s 108-94 win in Atlanta, the Dallas Mavericks are hopeful they’ll have rookie point guard Dennis Smith Jr. back in the lineup 24 hours later as the team concludes preseason play Friday in Charlotte.

Scoring nine points on 4-of-9 shooting and dishing three assists in 12 minutes of action during Thursday’s win, Smith exited late in the first half due to a left ankle sprain. The cat-quick guard then watched the Mavericks’ young contributors cruise to a runaway victory without him, moving to 4-1 in preseason play in the process. But with the Dallas team set to wrap up the exhibition schedule Friday against the upstart Hornets (1-3), Mavs coach Rick Carlisle says it’s impossible Smith could be back in the starting five for the preseason finale.

“We don’t think it’s serious, and it’s possible that he’ll play (Friday). We’ll see how he feels in the morning,” Carlisle said while giving an update on Smith’s injury following Thursday’s game.

Opting to rest their veterans Thursday while evaluating the roster hopefuls before final cuts, the Mavericks will likely treat Friday’s game as a dress rehearsal before the regular-season opener next Wednesday at home against Atlanta. The Mavs will also try to continue the jelling process as the regular season rapidly approaches, hoping to begin the 2017-18 campaign with plenty of chemistry. And according to 13-time All-Star Dirk Nowitzki, Friday’s outing holds significance for the team before the games begin to count in the standings.

“Well, the preseason is a lot shorter now. We’ve cut it by almost 10 days, so we’ve got one more good game (Friday),” Nowitzki explained.

He added: “The older guys are going to give it everything (Friday) and hopefully get a nice little burn, and then we still have a few days to get ready. We’ll probably have Saturday off, and then practice three days straight and really fine-tune. And then it’s time to go to work.”

Note: The Mavericks will now wrap up the preseason Friday in Charlotte against the Hornets. The game will tip off at 6 p.m. CT, airing locally on 103.3 FM ESPN. The game will also air in Spanish on KFLC AM 1270.

The Mavs return to American Airlines Center on Oct. 18 for the regular-season opener against the Atlanta Hawks. That game will tip off at 7:30 p.m. CT, airing locally on Fox Sports Southwest and 103.3 FM ESPN. The game will also air in Spanish on KFLC AM 1270. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by visiting Mavs.com, or by calling (214) 747-MAVS.

Injury updates:

Seth Curry (stress reaction, left tibia) — not with the team
Josh McRoberts (rest) — not with the team