Luka Doncic propels Mavs to win over Hornets
Luka Doncic collected 34 points, 13 rebounds and nine assists to lift the Dallas Mavericks to a 104-93 victory over the host Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday.
Doncic, the reigning Western Conference Player of the Week, made 5 of 9 shots from 3-point range to send Dallas to its fourth straight win overall and fourth in a row in Charlotte.
Tim Hardaway Jr. had 18 points and Kristaps Porzingis added 16 while making his season debut. Porzingis, who underwent left knee surgery on Oct. 9, reportedly was in line to play against the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday, but that game was postponed due to COVID-19 issues among the Mavericks.
Boban Marjanovic and Trey Burke each had eight points for Dallas, which played without Dorian Finney-Smith, Josh Richardson, Jalen Brunson, Maxi Kleber and Dwight Powell due to health and safety protocols.
Charlotte's Gordon Hayward scored 16 points before leaving the game in the third quarter due to a strained left hip. He did not return.
Terry Rozier scored 18 points and P.J. Washington added 16 points and 10 rebounds for the Hornets, who saw their four-game winning streak come to a halt.
Porzingis drained two 3-pointers to push Dallas' lead to 66-44 early in the third quarter, but Hayward converted twice from beyond the arc to highlight a 12-0 run by Charlotte.
The Hornets closed to within 71-62 midway into the third, but Doncic scored 13 of his team's next 16 points to give the Mavericks an 87-69 advantage.
Dallas secured a 32-16 lead after one quarter due in large part to the play of Doncic and Marjanovic. Doncic scored 11 points overall in the period while Marjanovic had eight during the Mavericks' 10-0 run to end the quarter.
Charlotte didn't help itself as it made just 2 of 10 attempts from 3-point range and committed four turnovers in the opening 12 minutes.
Doncic rested for a prolonged stretch of the second quarter before his 3-point attempt banked in to stake Dallas to a 60-43 lead at halftime.