How it happened: The Mavericks opened the game with a 13-2 run and never let the Hornets seriously threaten the lead.
Even by preseason standards, this one wasn’t pretty.
Just look at the numbers from the first quarter. The Mavs roared to a 25-10 lead, but they shot only 40 percent from the floor. That was a heck of a lot better than the Hornets, who were 4-of-22 (18.2 percent) for the frame.
Both teams finished the night with shooting percentages in the thirties.
No. 1 overall pick Anthony Davis flashed his athleticism for the Hornets, grabbing 17 rebounds and blocking two shots, but he had a horrible shooting night (six points, 2-12 FG).
What it means: The Hornets need shooting guard Eric Gordon, who sat out with a sore knee, just as much as the Mavs need Dirk Nowitzki. The Mavs showed the type of defensive tenacity that will be necessary for them to succeed without their superstar.
Play of the game: The Mavs tried to run a backcut alley-oop to Brandan Wright, but it went all wrong. Davis wasn’t fooled whatsoever on the play, so Wright tried to create space with a blatant forearm to the back, drawing a whistle for the foul. It wouldn’t have mattered anyway. Mayo’s pass was so far off target that it hit the back of the rim. Mavs coach Rick Carlisle reacted to the play by kicking the scorers’ table. The whole scene kind of summed up a preseason game that was far from pretty.
Stat of the night: Rookie second-round pick Jae Crowder has scored in double figures in four straight games. He had 12 points against the Hornets, including a 3-pointer and driving layup on back-to-back possessions after New Orleans made the game somewhat competitive in the fourth quarter.