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Luka Doncic scores 40, but Mavericks fall to Hornets

Mar 26, 2023; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA;  Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) shoots as he is defended by Charlotte Hornets forward center Kai Jones (23) and forward JT Thor (21) during the first half at the Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

Gordon Hayward scored eight of his 22 points in the fourth quarter and the Charlotte Hornets beat Dallas 110-104 to deliver another blow to the Mavericks’ playoff hopes Sunday afternoon.

P.J. Washington scored 21 points and had 12 rebounds and rookie center Mark Williams, making his first start after missing a couple of weeks with a thumb injury, added 15 points and 16 rebounds for the Hornets (25-51), who’ve won three of their last four games.

Luka Doncic racked up 40 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists for the Mavericks (36-39), but it might have been a costly outing for numerous reasons. In the third quarter, Doncic picked up a technical foul — his 16th of the season — so he’ll face a one-game suspension unless that infraction is overturned.

Kyrie Irving had 18 points and Tim Hardaway Jr. returned after a two-game absence because of illness to score 15 points off the bench. Maxi Kleber had 14 points.

The game came after Friday night’s result at Dallas, where the Hornets won 117-109.

On Sunday, the Hornets played their second consecutive full game without injured guards Terry Rozier and Kelly Oubre Jr. They overcame 14 turnovers and were boosted by 14 points and six assists from former Dallas guard Dennis Smith Jr.

The Mavericks were 19-for-49 on 3-pointers, meaning more than half of their 83 attempted field goals came from long range.

Dallas went up 92-90 for its first lead on a Doncic 3-pointer with 5:44 left. The Hornets notched the next six points and then there was a back-and-forth stretch before Charlotte sealed the outcome.

The Hornets built a 30-12 lead in the first quarter.

Doncic made four 3-pointers in the last three minutes of the first half as the Mavericks closed within 53-48 before Charlotte led 55-48 at the break.

Dallas shot 34.1 percent in the first half, with Doncic 6-for-13 and scoring 21 after missing his first five shots.

–Field Level Media

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