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Game On: Hornets @ Mavericks
The Hornets just got done knocking off the mighty Magic on ESPN on Friday, and tonight they’ll look to slay another formidable foe on national TV. Game tips at 8:30 Central, and you can watch it online via ESPN360. There’s also the Daily Dime chat, where Joe will be talking Hornets during the game.
The Mavericks come in riding a season-high six-game win streak, which puts them at 38-21 on the season, 19-9 at home. They’ve beaten the Magic, Lakers and Hawks during their streak and are getting great play from the likes of Dirk Nowitzki (27.7ppg in his last seven), Jason Kidd (19, 17 and 16 vs. the Hawks on Friday) and Brendan Haywood.
Haywood joined the Mavs as part of the Josh-Howard-for-Caron-Butler swap at the trade deadline and has filled in brilliantly for the injured Erick Dampier, averaging 11 points, 11 boards and 3 blocks for Dallas. But Aaron Gray ain’t scurred.
The Hornets and Mavericks have met twice already this season. The Hornets won a thriller in overtime in New Orleans back in November, but the Mavs got revenge in Dallas with a 94-90 win in mid-December. Nowitzki was unusually ineffective in both those meetings, scoring a total of 22 points on 31 percent shooting.
Dampier will be out for a few weeks with a dislocated finger, while Caron Butler has missed the past two games “due to a negative reaction to medication he takes for his knee.” Sounds like Butler will play tonight though. As for the Hornets, Chris Paul (knee surgery) and Darius Songaila (ankle) remain sidelined.
Pace: Mavericks 94.4 (20th), Hornets 94.7 (17th)
Offensive Efficiency: Mavericks 106.1 (10th), Hornets 104.5 (13th)
Defensive Efficiency: Mavericks 102.9 (12th), Hornets 105.4 (18th)
- Standings: Hornets 2.5 games behind the Blazers for the 8th spot. No game for Portland tonight.
- Rival bloggers: Mavs Moneyball | The Two Man Game (THN)