February 22, 2015

The Dallas Mavericks have been wildly inconsistent so far, though they believe the offense will improve once two key pieces work their way back into form.

It's been primarily the defensive effort, however, that has keyed the franchise's second-longest active home winning streak versus any opponent.

As Chandler Parsons and Wesley Matthews continue trying to find their rhythm, the Mavericks seek their first home victory of the season and 15th in a row there against the Charlotte Hornets on Thursday night.

Dallas (2-2) has averaged 107.0 points on 46.5 percent shooting and gone 21 of 51 from 3-point range in its two wins. In their two defeats, however, the Mavs have scored 89.5 per game while shooting 37.2 percent, including 24.5 (13 of 53) from beyond the arc.

After playing just 12 minutes in his season debut Sunday, Parsons had nine points while playing 14 in Tuesday's 102-91 home loss to Toronto. The forward, who averaged 15.7 points last season, is progressing after undergoing minor knee surgery May 1.

The Mavericks shot 40.9 percent in the first half, but were outscored 53-40 while shooting at a 35.7 clip in the final two quarters with Parsons on the bench.

"We certainly could have used him in the second half, but that's just not in the cards, so we're going to keep going along like this for a while," coach Rick Carlisle told the team's official website.

"You know, he's working hard, and we've just got to keep going."

Matthews, who averaged 15.9 points last season, hasn't played more than 27 minutes or scored over 10 points in three games following surgery in May on a ruptured Achilles.

"Everybody's got to step their game up. I'm on a minute restriction, so I've got to deal with that," Matthews said. "Chandler is obviously on his, but we've still got a job to do, and that's win games."

Dirk Nowitzki has carried the load with 17.5 points per game while going 8 of 13 from 3-point range. After losing his first meeting with the Hornets in 1999-2000, Nowitzki has averaged 23.9 points while helping Dallas win 23 of the past 24 in which he's played.

The Mavericks have held Charlotte (1-3) below 100 points 13 times on a 14-game home win streak that's second to their current 21-game run against Sacramento. San Antonio has the longest current home streak against an opponent with 32 in a row versus Golden State.

The Mavs could have a difficult time if Charlotte can build on a red-hot performance Tuesday. After averaging 93.3 points and shooting 39.1 percent during an 0-3 start, the Hornets hit 14 of 23 from 3-point range and shot 51.6 percent overall in a 130-105 home win over Chicago.

Fresh off signing a three-year, $21 million extension, Jeremy Lamb led seven players in double figures with 20 points off the bench on 9-of-10 shooting.

"The whole team, just coming off a three-game losing streak, we knew we needed to get a win," Lamb said. "Everybody was locked in and ready to play."

Al Jefferson has yet to get going, averaging just 12.8 points. The center totaled 14 on 7-of-28 shooting while the Hornets lost both meetings with Dallas last season by a combined 38 points.

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