CHARLOTTE – The Dallas Mavericks finished a shaky, otherwise successful four-game homestand and prepare to take on the new-look-original Charlotte Hornets at Time Warner Cable Arena on Nov. 17. Game tips off at 7 ET, 6 CT and can be seen on FSSW and TSOH.
Dallas (7-3) hosted the Miami Heat, Sacramento Kings, Philadelphia 76ers and Minnesota Timberwolves last week and though the Mavs finished VERY strong, they started the homestand on a rough patch.
The Mavericks got blitzed by Luol Deng and Chris Bosh before going down 24-4 in the first quarter against the Kings. However, since halftime against Sacramento, Dallas has been on a tear, scoring 312 points in 10 quarters (31.2) and holding its opposition to just 228 (22.8).
Dirk Nowitzki helped cue the 24-point comeback against the Kings with 23 points, passing Hakeem “The Dream” Olajuwon for ninth all time.
Dallas earned a franchise-record 53-point victory against the winless Sixers, a game the Mavs were up 38-10 after one and still would’ve won had they not scored in the entire second half. They were up 44 at halftime, the third largest halftime margin in NBA history. The loss was also the third largest in Sixers history.
Against Minnesota on Saturday, Monta Ellis dropped a season-best 30 points as Dallas scored a season-high 131 points. Tyson Chandler finished with 12 points and 16 boards in 24 minutes for his fifth double-double in the past seven games (two off the league lead). They shot 53 percent from the field, had 10 blocks as a team and doubled up the T’Wolves in points in the paint (76-38). The 76 points tied a franchise record while the 131 points were their most in a game since 2009.
For the second-straight night, all 13 players available played. Against Minnesota, eight scored double figures while nine played at least 20 minutes. Against Philly, all 13 players scored with 12 playing at least 12 minutes. Charlie Villanueva scored 10 points in eight minutes while J.J. Barea dished out 11 of the team’s 33 assists on the night.
The Hornets (4-6) return home after a four-game Western-Conference road trip, where they finished 1-3. Golden State defeated Charlotte 112-87 on Nov. 15. The Hornets had a rough second quarter, going down 21 at halftime (28 after three) and couldn’t make a comeback.
Charlotte struggled in all aspects as the Warriors were +18 in both points in the paint (48-30) and fast-break points (27-9). Al Jefferson had a team-high 19 points on 8-of-14 shooting while Lance Stephenson and Brian Roberts added 16 and 17, respectively. Cody Zeller grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds in 19 minutes.
The Hornets also lost to the Los Angeles Lakers and Portland Trail Blazers, but defeated the Phoenix Suns 103-95 on Nov. 14. They have averaged 107.3 points in four wins, but just 88.7 in six losses.
MATCH UP TO WATCH FOR
AL JEFFERSON vs TYSON CHANDLER
Anything to do with Lance Stephenson is must see and he should draw the Monta Ellis match up, with both guys being quick and able to shoot or penetrate, but an even better match up will be between these two. Let’s face it, Jefferson’s strong suit is on the offensive side while Chandler is all about the defense. Both are capable to perform on the opposite sides, respectively, look for Chandler to limit Jefferson’s points and alter the big man’s shots. Jefferson should still get his and get to the line with ease, but he’s not as light on his feet as Chandler so look for TC to get his sixth double-double in the first 11 games, which will pass Samuel Dalmebert’s total from a season ago (five in 80 games).
BY THE NUMBERS
NBA Rank – Mavericks | Hornets
Points Per Game – 1 | 22
Rebounds – 24 | 11
Assists – 7 | 16
Blocks – 4 | 24
Steals – 10 | 22
Turnovers – 1 | 9
Points Allowed – 18 | 17
FG% – 2 | 23
3PT% – 15 | 21
Point Differential – 3 | 22
Through 10 games, Brandan Wright continues to lead the NBA in field-goal percentage at 77.4 percent (41-of-53 shooting). DeAndre Jordan (LAC) sits one spot behind at 72.7 percent. Not far off is Tyson Chandler, who is second in NBA history in the category, at fourth with 67.2 percent.
Dirk Nowitzki continues to lead Dallas in points per game, but his 55.9 percent shooting, which would mark a career-best, is good for 12th in the league. Nowitzki is 19th in scoring with 20.3 per game while Monta Ellis’ 18.4 is good for 30th. Chandler is 12th in rebounds and ninth in blocks while Nowitzki’s 47.5 percent from deep is good for 13th.
Al Jefferson leads Charlotte with 21.4 points per game while Kemba Walker sits at a comfortable 15.1.
Dirk Nowitzki scored 20.5 points in two games against Charlotte last season, fourth-best against any Eastern conference team of at least two games. He shot 50 percent from the field and 50 percent from three while making all his shots from the charity stripe.
The Mavericks lost by 25 points in Charlotte on Feb. 11. Dallas came into the game having won 17 of 18 against the Hornets-Bobcats-Hornets. Jefferson dropped 30 while Nowitzki and Ellis led Dallas with 16 each. The Mavericks couldn’t stop Charlotte’s shooting as it made 54 percent of them and was +21 from behind the arc. Josh McRoberts dished out a career-high 13 assists as Charlotte set a franchise-record with 42 dimes.
Dallas needed a fourth-quarter comeback and 25 points from Nowitzki as the Mavericks rallied for an 89-82 victory in Game 1 on Dec. 3. Dallas trailed by seven after three quarters, but outscored Charlotte by 14 points in the final frame. Ellis added 22 as the pair combine for 26 of the team’s 29 in the decisive quarter. Nowitzki shot 1-of-10 in the first half, but 9-of-11 in the second half. He and Jose Calderon combine to score the final 19 points for Dallas. The Bobcats nickname would finish winless in Big D (0-10).
If you’ve reached this far, you should have an idea of the Dallas-Charlotte history. Dallas has had Charlotte’s number, specifically when it held the Bobcat nickname. Dallas enters Charlotte, winners in 17 of the past 19 meetings, 7-2 as the road team.
“The Mavericks have been held in check lately by Charlotte, averaging 91.7 points on 42.0 percent shooting while dropping two of the last three meetings. They had shot 47.1 percent while averaging 100.8 points in winning the previous 21 matchups.
Nowitzki’s 24.7 career scoring average versus Charlotte is his second-highest against one team, trailing only his 26.3 mark against Boston.” – ESPN
Nowitzki needs 325 points to pass hall-of-famer Elvin Hayes for eighth in NBA history. If his 20.3 point average holds, the Big German should accomplish that in the next 16 games. With 11 points against the Hornets, he’ll hit the 27,000 point mark, if that’s a milestone in itself.
FG made – 9,483 – 17 away from 9,500 – 26 away from passing Oscar Robertson for 16th all time
3PT made – 1,490 – 10 away from becoming the 23rd player in the 1,500 club
This will mark Nowitzki’s 1,199th game played, putting him into a tie for 31st all time with Dallas’ own Derek Harper.
SAME FACE, DIFFERENT PLACE
Lance Stephenson enters his fifth season in the NBA, first in Charlotte after spending his first four years with the Indiana Pacers. Stephenson left Indy after setting career-highs in games started (78), points (13.8), rebounds (7.2) and assists (4.6) per game. Never had a triple-double in his career, he had five last season and 20 of his 24 double-doubles came in his final year with the Pacers. In two games vs Dallas last season, Stephenson averaged 17 points, 7.5 boards, 2.5 dimes and 1.5 steals per game while shooting 53.8 percent from the field (14-of-26) in 37 minutes of game time. Stephenson, who was a free agent in the summer, didn’t choose Dallas as a landing spot as he signed a three-year, $27-million contract with the Hornets. He’s averaging 9.9 points this season to go along with team-highs in rebounds (9.5) and assists (5.1). In his team debut, against the Milwaukee Bucks, he recorded seven points, 13 rebounds and eight assists in 40 minutes. Stephenson won the game vs the Atlanta Hawks in double overtime with a buzzer-beating 3-pointer. He recorded his first double-double as a Hornet with 17 points and 13 rebounds.
INJURIES & SUSPENSIONS
Charlotte is dealing with a number of injuries. Kemba Walker (back), Stephenson (groin) and Marvin Williams (knee) all played against the Warriors. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (foot) has missed the past two games while Gary Neal left during the Golden State game with a concussion. P.J. Hairston has been starting for MKG. If you don’t know, Hairston had a short stint with the Mavericks’ D-League team, Texas Legends, before being selected in this year’s draft and moving to Charlotte from Miami for Shabazz Napier. In seven games, Hairston is averaging 5.3 points and 1.6 boards per game.
Raymond Felton plans to begin serving his four-game suspension on Monday, according to Rick Carlisle. The suspension is from his guilty plea to gun charges in New York in August 2013. Felton wasn’t allowed to serve the suspension until he was healthy and able to play. He suffered a high right ankle sprain during preseason and only recently returned to practice.
If the suspension does start on Monday, he would be eligible to return on Nov. 24 at home against the Pacers.