Dennis Smith Jr. has revealed the Charlotte Hornets’ savage mentality against the Dallas Mavericks following their second consecutive win over the playoff contender.
In the wake of the victory, Smith Jr. said, “That’s all we said pregame: ‘Put they ass in the dirt.’ Straight like that, and we came out and executed and got two wins in a row.”
The 110-104 victory on Charlotte’s home floor came just two days after they defeated the Mavs 117-109 in Dallas. The results have no influence on the Hornets’ position in the standings, with six games separating them from the Orlando Magic in 13th in the Eastern Conference, but the frustrating stretch for the Mavs could prove to be a fatal blow to their playoff hopes.
They are embroiled in the logjam in the middle of the Western Conference, which currently sees just four games separating the Phoenix Suns in fourth from the Utah Jazz in 12th. A couple of wins for the Mavs against a team they really should be beating would have seen them currently owning a 38-37 record and in seventh; instead, with the two losses they have tumbled out of a play-in position with a 36-39 record.
With just seven games to go in the regular season, Luka Doncic, Kyrie Irving and the Mavericks now have their work cut out to jump back into a play-in spot. The Hornets, meanwhile, have little to play for over the remainder of the season, but with no prospect of them catching the Magic and subsequently reducing their odds in the Wembenyama sweepstakes, it seems that they are keen to play the spoiler for teams in the playoff mix if they can.
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