The Dallas Mavericks managed to preserve their perfect home record, but it didn’t come easy. While hosting the Charlotte Hornets, the Mavericks found themselves down by as much as 15 points in the first half – and still down 10 halfway through the third quarter.
Dallas then found their rhythm, though, and cut the lead down to 84-83 heading into the fourth quarter. That period was when LaMelo Ball decided to turn on the jets, and it may have been just a little too late to rescue his team.
Ball scored 23 of his 30 points in the fourth quarter but his efforts weren’t enough to help his team win. Dallas grabbed a 94-92 lead with 9:17 in the game and Charlotte were never able to retake the advantage. Ball also fouled out at the end of the game, which made it easier for the Mavericks to maintain their final lead.
Hornets fans will undoubtedly be disappointed by their team blowing such a big lead, but it’s also a good reminder for everyone that a double digit lead doesn’t mean as much as it used to in the NBA.
Luka Doncic had a fine game of his own, narrowly missing a triple-double with 23 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists. It was his first victory against the Hornets in around three years. It’s worth noting that he shot 1 of 9 from three for the game, which was one of the reason that the Mavericks had trouble early in the game.
Kyrie Irving had a decent game as well with 18 points and 10 assists in the win that pushed Dallas’ record to 5-1.
It does feel like he and Doncic haven’t fully figured out how to maximise each other’s talents, but the strong start to the season gives them a bit more time and space to learn how to do that.