Everything pointed to the Mavericks routing the Hornets on Friday. That didn't happen. In fact, the Mavericks completely lost the game. Mar 24, 2023; Dallas, Texas, USA; Charlotte Hornets forward P.J. Washington (25) reacts in front of Dallas Mavericks guard Kyrie Irving (2) during the third quarter at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

There was little reason to believe that the Dallas Mavericks would have any trouble with the Charlotte Hornets on Friday. The Mavericks are fighting for a playoff spot while the Hornets are already eliminated. Charlotte also was on the back end of a back-to-back and undermanned. Plus, the game was in Dallas.

All signs pointed to the Mavericks winning and likely winning big. They came into the game as 16-point favorites.

But Dallas not only failed to cover the 16-point spread but lost the game outright.  The Hornets dominated from the outset and while the Mavericks did climb back into the game, it wasn’t enough. Charlotte came away with a 117-109 victory.

In terms of point spread, it was the biggest upset of the NBA season.

The NBA world came down hard on the Mavericks after their loss.

Friday was Dallas’ first game since Wednesday’s narrow and controversial loss to the Golden State Warriors, which the Mavericks have protested.

Regardless of how that protest ends up playing out, playing a team like the Hornets at home was a great chance for Dallas to right the ship. The Mavericks are still in playoff contention but will now need some help to even make the play-in rounds. Dallas is now 36-38, in 11th place in the Western Conference.


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