In what was considered the dress rehearsal for the regular season, the Dallas Mavericks obliterated a short-handed Charlotte Hornets team 127-59. It’s only the preseason, but it’s good to see the Mavericks clicking as the regular season opener against the Atlanta Hawks draws near.
Tim Hardaway led all scorers with 20 points. Luka Doncic added 10 points and eight assists with minimal effort. Kristaps Porzingis was aggressive early and finished with 17 points and nine rebounds. Jalen Brunson led all bench players with 13 points.
There wasn’t much scoring on the Hornets side, but Cody Martin led Charlotte with 11 points. Rookie James Bouknight scored 10 points off the bench. Former Maverick Wes Iwundu played 10 minutes and went 0-4 from the field.
Here are three stats from an absolute beat down.
8:46: The amount of game time Charlotte went without scoring during one stretch
With 1:46 left in the second quarter, Mason Plumlee tipped in a basket to give the Hornets 30 points. Charlotte wouldn’t score again until 5:00 left in the third quarter. Going almost 75 percent of a quarter without scoring is incredible. It takes good defense by the opposing team and a little bad luck along the way; the Hornets ran into both. Jason Kidd has been preaching defense all preseason, and it seems, for at least one game, he has spoke it into existence.
27.4 percent: The Hornets’ field goal percentage
You don’t go almost nine minutes without scoring by shooting an average percentage from the floor. Charlotte went 3-19 on three pointers and 23-84 overall. That means they went 20-65 on two-point field goals. The Mavericks swarmed the Hornets on defense, and it was clear from the start Charlotte did not expect the intensity with which Dallas came into the game. LaMelo Ball had a particularly rough time, going 2-10 from the field. Again, it’s just preseason, but the aggressive defense from the Mavericks was impressive.
33: The Mavericks’ points off turnovers
Yet another example of the Mavericks’ suffocating defense: Dallas forced 24 turnovers against Charlotte. They were able to grab 12 steals, which led to a lot of running. The Mavericks scored 25 fast break points. By contrast, Dallas took care of the ball, committing only 11 turnovers. It’s a winning formula, and hopefully one they stick to once the regular season comes around.
Here’s our postgame podcast, with Josh and Kirk doing some brief analysis of the game. If you can’t see the embed below, click here. Or go to your favorite podcast app and search Mavs Moneyball podcast.