The Dallas Mavericks came into the game against the Charlotte Hornets on Saturday looking for a spark after back-to-back demoralizing losses to the Memphis Grizzlies and Washington Wizards.
To make matters worse, the Mavs knew they would be without Luka Doncic – who is still nursing an ankle injury – and Kristaps Porzingis.
Porzingis was out after suffering a broken nose against Memphis on Wednesday night and putting in 21 minutes of work in Washington.
Dallas often rests their big man on the second leg of back-to-back sets as they look to manage his health in his first season back from knee surgery. No Luka. No Porzingis. No hope? Not quite.
As it turned out, the team didn’t need their top two stars against the Hornets.
Prior to the game tipping off, reports surfaced about the Mavericks possibly gaining a new member to the squad. Hornets’ forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was waived on Saturday, but he will need to clear waivers on Monday before the Mavericks could possibly bring him in to help improve the team.
Instead, the cavalry arrived early, as it was Seth Curry in his hometown putting on a show. Friday’s 116-100 victory for Dallas marked only the second time in his career that Curry has gotten the opportunity to play where he grew up.
Last season, as a member of the Portland Trail Blazers, Curry was only able to muster up eight points on three of five shooting with one block and one rebound in Charlotte. On Saturday night, playing for the Mavericks, it was a much different story.
Curry wasn’t a member of coach Carlisle’s starting lineup, but his impact was felt more than any other starter from either side of the court. Indeed, Steph Curry’s younger brother went on a tear to give Dallas the scoring they needed to avoid a third consecutive loss. Curry came off the bench and hit his first 10 shots of the game and didn’t miss until the closing seconds of the third quarter.
It was easy to tell that Curry was feeling it when he tested out his range on a long three-point attempt that found the bottom of the net. His first shot came with 4:40 left in the first quarter and it gave the Mavs a 14-2 lead.
Curry alone would outscore the entire Charlotte team in the opening quarter within the next four minutes. He added two three-pointers, including a 30-foot shot to rival those reminiscent of his brother in the Bay Area.
After one quarter, it was Mavs 31, Curry 12, Charlotte 10. He would go on to add 14 more points over the next two quarters to have a game-high 26 points off the bench.
Curry did a little bit of everything that night, including six rebounds and one block. He also added one steal that led to a breakaway layup for the Mavericks, who led the Hornets by 31 before finishing off their 32nd victory of the season.
Curry – who is averaging 19.3 points per game since Doncic went down late last month – provided more than enough offense to go along with the five other Mavs who scored in double digits without their top two stars.
It was the Seth Curry show in Charlotte as he put his sharpshooting skills on full display in front of the crowd that once watched his dad Dell Curry win the Sixth Man of the Year award for the Hornets.
With Dallas still unclear on when Doncic will return, and still unable to count on Porzingis to provide minutes in every game, Dallas needs players like Curry to step up. On Saturday at least, Curry was up to the task.
Can the Mavericks continue to rely on the shooting of Curry as the season progresses? Share your thoughts with Patrick on Twitter @PatSportsGuy.