Dallas Mavericks: Luka Doncic struggles as Hornets dominate in Mavs home opener
By Tyler Watts
Dallas Mavericks: Luka Doncic struggles in home-opening loss to Hornets
Dallas Mavericks superstar Luka Doncic was incredible as the team routed the LA Clippers by 51 points on Sunday. The performance was masterful as Doncic dropped 24 points, nine rebounds, and eight assists without playing one second in the fourth quarter. He was aggressive and making plays all over the court. For the first time, fans saw the potential of the 2020-2021 Mavericks.
Dallas finally played their home opener on Dec. 30 against the Charlotte Hornets. The Mavs had three road games to start the season, but are now home for two straight. They were looking to even their record against a young improved Hornets squad.
It was not Luka Doncic and the Mavs night, though. The Hornets did not miss and dominated the glass as they topped Dallas on their home floor. Doncic had just 12 points as he struggled. Here is a look at his best plays from the Mavericks’ first home game of the season.
Luka Doncic drops 12 as Dallas Mavericks fall to Hornets in home opener
Doncic had his playmaking on display early. He found Willie Cauley-Stein for one of his four first-quarter assists. See the beautiful play below.
Luka was taken out a bit early as he picked up his second foul with 2:28 left in the opening stanza. The 21-year-old had five points, two rebounds, four assists, one steal, and two turnovers after ten-plus minutes on the floor. The Mavs trailed by one when Doncic headed for the bench.
Luka showed off his ability to finish inside in the second quarter.
The Mavericks struggled on the defensive end in the first half. Doncic picked up his third foul with just over one minute to go as the Hornets scored 68 points in the first 24 minutes to hold an 11-point lead at the break. Luka had eight points, two rebounds, five assists, and one steal in the first half on Wednesday night.
Charlotte blitzed the Mavericks to begin the second half as they went on a 20 to three run to begin the quarter that put Dallas down by 28. They were missing open looks and giving up easy buckets. The Mavs missed the home crowd advantage as the Hornets outplayed them in Dallas.
Dallas failed to get back on track as Charlotte picked up the blowout win on Wednesday night. Luka Doncic finished with 12 points, two rebounds, five assists, and two steals in 24 minutes of action. He did not play a second in the fourth quarter for the second straight game. Doncic was four of ten from the field and four of seven on his free throws. Luka’s 3-point struggles continued as he missed all five from long-range.
The loss was the Dallas Mavericks’ final game of 2020. Their next contest is at home against the Miami Heat on New Year’s Day. The Mavs will be looking to bounce back against the reigning Eastern Conference champions. Expect Luka Doncic and the team to be fired up. Do not miss it.