The Dallas Mavericks fell to the Charlotte Hornets 129-108 Saturday night in Charlotte. The loss drops the Mavericks to 43-28. They’ll remain at fifth in the Western Conference standings, just behind the Utah Jazz and one game ahead of the Denver Nuggets, with 10 games left in the season.
Luka Doncic led the Mavericks in scoring with 37 points. Jalen Brunson scored 10, the only other starter in double digits. Frank Ntilikina chipped in 12 points off the bench. Miles Bridges led the Hornets with 23 points.
Here are three numbers from the game:
11: the amount the Hornets outscored the Mavericks on fast breaks
The Mavericks aren’t interested in pushing the ball. That’s fine, though I think it would create some easy opportunities to score that they could desperately use. Fine, whatever. But they absolutely have to play defense in transition, every game, whether they like it or not. Charlotte waxed them on fast breaks tonight. That can’t happen.
12: the number of minutes Davis Bertans played before fouling out
Bertans got as many fouls as he did points, assists, and rebounds combined. Quite a stat line. I barely remember him playing at all. Just an incredible performance that punctuates the mood of this game.
47.6: the Hornet’s 3-point shooting percentage.
At one point in the fourth quarter the Hornets were shooting 51-percent from deep. It’s going to be hard to beat a team that shoots that well on three-pointers. And sure, three-point defense can come down to luck a lot of the time. But the Hornets got an awful lot of open three-pointers, and research has shown that open shots are easier to make than contested shots. I’m sure the Mavericks have some proprietary analytics that confirm this. The defense slipped on a night when Dallas was shorthanded and the Hornets hit almost every other shot they took. We’re on to Minnesota.
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