CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Kemba Walker scored 18 points with two clutch 3-pointers down the stretch and the Charlotte Hornets never trailed en route to a 97-87 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday night at the Spectrum Center.
The Hornets (11-8) led by 11 early in the second quarter but could never put the Mavericks away until the final four minutes. They led 80-78 before Walker hit a 3-pointer with 3:52 remaining and Jeremy Lamb followed it up with a three-point play on the Hornets’ next possession for an 86-78 lead with 3:24 left.
The Mavs never got closer than three again from there, and Walker’s 3-pointer with 41.9 seconds left put the Hornets up 93-85 and sealed the win.
Charlotte won with defense, limiting the Mavericks to 37.2 percent shooting from the field and 9 of 31 from 3-point range. It’s the second-fewest points the Hornets have allowed all season.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist added 14 points for the Hornets. Lamb and Nicolas Batum finished with 12 apiece, and Roy Hibbert scored 11.
The Mavericks (3-15) have lost 10 of their last 11. They have the worst record in the NBA and are off to the worst start through 18 games in franchise history.
Harrison Barnes led the Mavs with 17 points and Justin Anderson scored 15. Wes Matthews and Deron Williams scored 14 apiece, but Matthews was 1 for 11 from 3-point range and Williams was 1 for 7 from beyond the arc.
The Hornets led 23-14 after one quarter, 44-41 at halftime, and 68-60 after three quarters. The closest the Mavs got was 57-56 with 3:24 remaining in the third quarter.
NOTES: Mavericks G Seth Curry (sprained knee) accompanied the team but could not play. He’s a Charlotte native and the son of Hornets TV analyst Dell Curry. ... The Mavs were on a one-game trip, so F Dirk Nowitzki (Achilles), G Jose Juan Berea (strained calf) and C Andrew Bogut (rest) didn’t travel. ... The Hornets were without F Marvin Williams (knee). ... The Mavs and Hornets meet again next Monday in Dallas. ... Hornets G Kemba Walker averaged 24.4 points per game in November, which is the best November output in franchise history. Larry Johnson averaged 24.3 in November 1995. ... The Hornets were coming off a 112-89 home loss to Detroit on Tuesday, while the Mavs lost at home to San Antonio 94-87 on Wednesday. ... The Hornets close out a three-game homestand Saturday night against Minnesota. The Mavs return home to face Chicago on Saturday.