March 25, 2018 / 3:20 AM / a month ago

Walker's late steal helps Hornets hold off Mavs

Kemba Walker scored 24 points and made a pivotal steal and Dwight Howard contributed 18 points and 23 rebounds to help the Charlotte Hornets defeat the host Dallas Mavericks 102-98 on Saturday night at American Airlines Center.

Mar 24, 2018; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Dennis Smith Jr. (1) dunks during the second quarter against the Charlotte Hornets at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Jeremy Lamb added 14 points and Malik Monk scored 11 for the Hornets, who won their third straight game. Charlotte posted a 62-52 rebounding edge and hit 12 of 25 from 3-point range despite shooting just 38 percent overall.

Dennis Smith Jr. scored 21 points and Harrison Barnes added 18 but couldn’t prevent Dallas from dropping its fifth straight game. Yogi Ferrell scored 16 points, Doug McDermott added 14, Nerlens Noel contributed 10 points, 12 rebounds and four steals and J.J. Barea also had 10 points.

The Mavericks shot 39.6 percent from the field and were 12-for-41 from long range.

Howard has collected a combined 53 rebounds over the last two games in which he has played. He became just the second NBA player since 1982 to have at least 30 points and 30 rebounds in the same game when he had 32 points and 30 rebounds against the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday.

Dallas trailed by two points and was playing for a tying shot, but Walker stripped the ball from Smith and outwrestled him to record his third steal of the contest with 5.6 seconds left. Marvin Williams was fouled with 4.6 seconds to play and made both free throws to make it a four-point margin and seal the outcome.

The Mavericks were down nine entering the final quarter but whittled their way within 87-86 on Ferrell’s 3-pointer with 5:59 left. Charlotte clung to the lead and eventually increased it to 98-91 on Walker’s 3-pointer with 2:05 remaining.

Ferrell knocked down a 3-pointer and Noel scored in the interior to pull Dallas within two with 1:02 remaining. Lamb connected on a jumper to give the Hornets a 100-96 lead with 41.8 seconds remaining before Smith’s layup brought the Mavericks within two with 36.2 seconds to go.

The Hornets used a 9-0 run in the third quarter to open up a 67-54 lead with 5:09 remaining. Lamb later knock down a 3-pointer to boost Charlotte’s lead to 74-59 with 2:41 remaining.

McDermott made a 3-pointer to trim the Dallas deficit to eight with 1:25 left. Monk’s 3-pointer gave the Hornets an 11-point edge before they took a 79-70 advantage into the final quarter

Walker scored 12 first-half points to help the Hornets lead 54-48 at the break.

—Field Level Media

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