The Charlotte Hornets have struggled on the road this season as they begin a four-game excursion against the host Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday. The Hornets are just 7-18 in road venues with eight of the setbacks coming by 15 or more points.
Charlotte was in position to sweep a three-game homestand when it held a 20-point lead on Tuesday but wilted down the stretch and lost 117-115 to the Los Angeles Clippers. "No matter where you're at in the season, you want to close out those games," Hornets coach James Borrego said during his postgame press conference. "We put ourselves in a great position with a 20-point lead." Guards Tim Hardaway Jr., Courtney Lee and Trey Burke are slated to make their Dallas debuts after being acquired from the New York Knicks in a deal that also yielded injured Kristaps Porzingis in exchange for guards Dennis Smith Jr. and Wesley Matthews, center DeAndre Jordan and two first-round picks. The Mavericks have won four of their past six games after notching a 111-98 road win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday.
TV: 8:30 p.m. ET, FS Southeast (Charlotte), FS Southwest (Dallas) LINE: Mavericks -5.5
ABOUT THE HORNETS (26-27): Star guard Kemba Walker had a strong game with 32 points and nine assists without a turnover against the Clippers but Charlotte couldn't get him the ball for a last-second tying shot and forward Marvin Williams was forced to throw up a heave that was far off the mark. Walker is averaging 34.5 points over the past two games and has topped 20 in each of the past four outings. Center Cody Zeller (hand) returned from a 16-game absence and had six points and 11 rebounds in 23 minutes.
ABOUT THE MAVERICKS (24-28): Having three days without a game was a welcome break to coach Rick Carlisle as he tries to figure out how the additions will fit into the team. "We're fortunate to have a break like this immediately after a major trade," Carlisle told reporters on Tuesday. "All three of these guys from New York are professionals, they're ready to play and we'll see what (Wednesday) brings. I can't tell you that they're all going to play (against the Hornets), or the number of minutes, or any of that kind of stuff, but I know they'll be ready. It's just time to get out there and play a game." Hardaway figures to eventually be in the starting lineup as he was the Knicks' leading scorer at 19.1 points per game.
1. The Mavericks clobbered the Hornets 122-84 in Charlotte on Jan. 2 for the fourth-largest road winning margin (38 points) in franchise history.
2. Charlotte PG Tony Parker (back) departed Tuesday's game after playing nine minutes and his status will be determined prior to tip-off.
3. Dallas rookie star SF Luka Doncic has topped 30 points in three of his past four games and is averaging 29.5 points during the span.
PREDICTION: Hornets 107, Mavericks 103 Bet Now
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