Final: Mavs 115, Hornets 111
Box Score | Highlights
Behind the Box Score
The Mavericks scored 39 points in the second quarter, made possible by hot shooting and plenty of layups, but also by shooting a whopping 13 free throws. Dallas got into the bonus with more than seven minutes remaining in the frame and was able to stay aggressive and keep forcing more whistles. It was the team’s fifth 39-plus-point quarter this season; the Mavericks only had one such quarter all of last season, and only two during the 2015-16 campaign. They’re 5-0 in those five games this season.
After a 1-18 start this season in clutch games (when the score is within five points inside the final five minutes of regulation or overtime), the Mavericks have won six out of nine such contests and are now 7-21 on the season. It’s been a nice turnaround.
The Mavericks were able to win a game that they were not supposed to win. Dallas played last night and flew two hours East, losing an hour in the process, to take on a hosting Hornets club that was coming off of four days’ rest. This had “schedule loss” written all over it, but the Mavs pulled it out anyway behind an unconscious Yogi Ferrell shooting performance and some unbelievable work down the stretch by Harrison Barnes. He scored 11 of 14 Mavs points upon checking back into the game midway through the fourth quarter (and 13 points overall in the final frame) on 5-of-5 shooting. He’s said he needs to improve as a closer, and tonight was a step in the right direction for him and for this team, against some pretty tough odds considering the fatigue difference.
Yogi Ferrell continues to shoot the lights out. He got the start tonight, replacing Maxi Kleber in the opening lineup, and Ferrell took advantage of the opportunity. He knocked down a season-high seven 3-pointers on 10 attempts and is now 28 of 53 from beyond the arc in his last 12 games. Dallas was able to get him his typical dose of spot-up looks, and he also hit one or two off the bounce. But one of his niftiest buckets came off a lob pass from Dennis Smith Jr., reminiscent of a long through ball in soccer.
No one picked up Ferrell as he meandered over to his spot, so Smith just lofted the ball his direction and it landed right in his shooting pocket. That was three of the easiest points the Mavericks scored in this game.
Sometimes when you’re tired and they’re not, you have to dig a little deeper to make things happen. The Mavericks picked up their activity on the defensive end, recording nine deflections and forcing the Hornets into an unusually high number of turnovers. Similar to Dallas, Charlotte has for years been one of the best teams at avoiding giveaways, but the Mavs were able to swipe a few. That led to some zany transition play, too, such as the time Salah Mejri led a fast break…
…Or when Wesley Matthews singlehandedly stopped a fast break and almost accidentally managed to get the ball to Dennis Smith Jr. for a dunk.
Dallas took the fight to the hosts on a night when the visiting club should have been suffering through some fatigue.
The Mavs (15-28) will play the Los Angeles Lakers (13-27) on Saturday at American Airlines Center at 1 p.m. Central.