Someone put a lid on the Dallas Mavericks’ basket in the fourth quarter and they found themselves losing their last preseason game.
Dallas shot just 6-20 (30%) to close the game as Charlotte pulled away late to secure a 111-95 victory in the preseason finale for both teams.
After a back and forth affair in which neither team led by more than six entering the final frame, the Hornets used a timely 12-0 run to build a 100-89 lead they never relinquished.
Harrison Barnes paced the Mavericks with a game-high 24 points on 8 of 19 shooting while Dirk chipped in 14. Rookie sensation Dennis Smith Jr., who suffered a mild ankle sprain in yesterday’s tilt against Atlanta, showed no ill effects and finished with 10 points.
Shooting 51.3% in the first half, the Mavericks mustered just 32.6% the rest of way. Barnes, the leading scorer, converted just 3 of 12 in the second half after starting off 5 for 7. However, he was aggressive in drawing contact and hit 8 of 9 free throws.
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Dirk did most of his damage from three (3-7 from beyond the arc) while stuffing the stat sheet with 9 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocks. Dennis Smith, who had plenty of friends and family in attendance, assisted on nine Maverick buckets, showcasing his playmaking ability.
In the end, the Hornets humming offense was too much to overcome. Seven from the Buzz City’s roster finished in double figures, spearheaded by Kemba Walker’s 18. Charlotte’s prized rookie Malik Monk also impressed with 14 points and a game-best +22 while he was on the court.
Worth noting, Coach Carlisle elected to play roster locks for almost the entire game. This perhaps signals that the final roster decisions have already been made. Teams have until October 16th to finalize their 17-man rosters (two players eligible for newly implemented two-way contracts).
The Mavericks officially begin the 2017-2018 season next Wednesday by hosting the Atlanta Hawks. Tip-off is at 7:30 CST.