Charlotte and Dallas both started the season with 0-2 records. They have both bounced back with a win and one of them will be on a two-game winning streak after Wednesday night. The Hornets are coming of an upset win over Brooklyn, while the Mavericks are coming off one of the most shocking games of the last decade.
Hornets led by Rozier, Hayward
Charlotte is expected to be near the bottom of the NBA this season. The Hornets first two games did not change any expectations, as they dropped games to Cleveland and Oklahoma City. Their most recent performance was unexpected, though, as they upset Brooklyn in a 106-104 final on Sunday. The Hornets were 11.5-point underdogs, but a big third quarter propelled them to a win. It was Brooklyn’s first loss of the season. Gordon Hayward was the big offseason acquisition in Charlotte—owner Michael Jordan spent $120 million on the four-year contract after a sign-and-trade with Boston.
Hayward showed out in the win over Brooklyn, scoring 28 points, dishing out seven assists and grabbing six rebounds. He made 12 of 20 attempts from the floor. Hayward is averaging 22.7 points through three games for a Charlotte team that ranks No. 19 in points per game. Point guard Terry Rozier is off to a blazing start, scoring 26.7 points per contest. Outside of Rozier and Hayward, there aren’t a ton of scoring threats. Guard Devonte Graham and forward P.J. Washington are both scoring in the low double figures, but Washington is questionable for this game with an ankle injury. They’ll be facing a Dallas defense that ranks No. 6 in points allowed.
Mavericks coming off historic win
Dallas got off to a really disappointing start to the season after its deep playoff run last year. The Mavericks opened with an upset loss at Phoenix and followed it up with a blowout loss at the Lakers in front of a primetime audience on Christmas Day. Those games made what would have been a surprising performance on Sunday even more surprising. The Mavericks were 3-point underdogs on the road against the Clippers, but they left with a 124-73 win. Dallas led by an NBA-record 50 points at halftime in the route. Superstar Kawhi Leonard was out for the Clippers, but Paul George, Serge Ibaka and the rest of the talented team was playing.
The Mavericks held a 104-57 lead heading into the fourth quarter. Point guard Luka Doncic leads the team with 27.7 points, 7.0 rebounds and 6.7 assists per game. He entered the season as the favorite to win the MVP and not much has changed. Shooting guard Josh Richardson has been a nice addition to the team so far, scoring 16.7 points in his first season since leaving Philadelphia. Guard Tim Hardaway Jr. is adding 13.3 points and 4.3 rebounds per game. The offense struggled in the first two games of the season, so they are only No. 13 after the outburst against the Clippers. Charlotte ranks No. 13 on the defensive end of the court.