Perhaps the biggest objective of summer league participation – certainly more important than wins and losses – is to foster the development of individual players. In Brian Roberts and Denzel Bowles, the Hornets have seen a pair of unsigned players show their ability against something resembling NBA-caliber competition. The summer invitees were among the NOLA bright spots Friday in a defeat to Dallas, a game the Mavericks controlled after the first quarter. Roberts (11 points) and Bowles (9 points) were the Hornets’ two leading scorers through three quarters, before the Mavs blew it open with a highlight-heavy fourth. Dallas went up by as many as 19 en route to the victory. Xavier Henry led the Hornets overall with 12 points, including five in the late going.
Other notes from Friday:
• Without a doubt, this was the most frustrating game of the week for the Hornets, who for the first time were clearly outplayed. After holding Phoenix to a meager 33.3 percent from the field in Wednesday’s game, Dallas shot 47.6 percent. Every Mavericks starter scored at least nine points, paced by Jae Crowder’s 18 points.
• After the game, New Orleans forward Lance Thomas called the Mavericks the more aggressive team, which included forcing 13 turnovers in the first half. Dallas finished the game with a 14-2 edge in fast-break points, in no small part due some of New Orleans’ sloppiness with the ball, especially in the vicinity of the halfcourt stripe.
• The Hornets play a rare day game after a night game Saturday – something that can only happen in the NBA during summer league – when they face Golden State at 3:30 Pacific time (5:30 in New Orleans on NBA TV). Due to the early start, the Hornets will not hold shootaround.