Hornets Drop Dallas in Preseason Finale
Rookies Graham, Bridges, Macura Spark Strong 4th-Quarter Showing Against Mavericks
By Sam Perley
The Charlotte Hornets closed out their exhibition schedule on a winning note as they knocked off the hometown Mavericks, 123-118, on Friday, Oct. 12 in Dallas, TX.
It was a back-and-forth affair all night long as the Mavericks controlled the first and third quarters, while the Hornets took care of business in the second and fourth frames.
In the end, 33 combined fourth-quarter points from the rookie trio of Devonte’ Graham, Miles Bridges and J.P. Macura helped the Hornets come away with the win and finish the preseason with a 4-1 record.
Graham ultimately finished the outing with a team-high 15 points on 5-of-6 shooting and four assists, while Bridges (seven rebounds and two steals) and Macura each had 13 points apiece.
“With Miles, we saw another example of his versatility, power and strength. He’s only getting better.” Said Hornets Head Coach James Borrego after the game. “Devonte’ – we started him the second half. Ran the team well, made some big shots, made some big plays. Great experience for him. Overall good preseason for the young guys.”
Kemba Walker tacked on 13 points (3-of-5 from three) and two assists in 17 minutes, although did not play in the second half. Jeremy Lamb scored 11 points, while Willy Hernangómez and Frank Kaminsky each had nine. Malik Monk chipped in eight points and a game-high-tying five assists.
Overall, the Hornets assisted on 29 of their 41 made field goals and shot a preseason-best 19-of-33 from three-point range (57.6 percent).
“[This team] is capable of making the right plays. They play for their teammates,” added Borrego. “Monk’s done a good job of moving the ball. He’s explosive. We’re going to put the ball in his hands and he’s going to make plays for us. We trust him.”
Dallas was led by center DeAndre Jordan, who notched 18 points on 6-of-6 shooting and a game-high 12 rebounds for the double-double. Slovenian rookie Luka Dončić also had 18 points, four assists and a game-high three steals.
The Hornets will open the regular season against the Milwaukee Bucks beginning at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 17.