The Wizards lost their third-straight home game on Tuesday night to a team that has a winning percentage lower than .500 entering the game as they lost 113-99 to the now 2-10 Dallas Mavericks. Harrison Barnes scored 31 points and rookie Dennis Smith Jr. had 22 as the Mavericks snapped a six-game losing streak. Dallas has won nine straight games in Washington dating back to 2008; they have also won 14 of the last 15 meetings overall. The Wizards never led at any point during Tuesday’s loss and are now back at .500 on the season, with a 1-3 mark against teams with losing records.
It is becoming a trend so far in this young season, but the Wizards are continuing to lose to inferior teams. First it was the Lakers, then the Suns, and then last night against the Mavericks. The Wizards should have won all three of those games. A typical Wizards game is the starters get the team rolling to an early lead, then the bench comes in and loses that lead, but then the starters usually retake the lead before the half when they re-enter the game. Last night, that did not happen. The Mavericks controlled the second quarter and never looked back. The starters could only close the gap to eight in the first half and let it swell back up to double-digits in the third quarter. Washington finally got a big run thanks to a bench unit anchored by Otto Porter and Jason Smith that made it a one possession game, but that was as close as they’d get. When Dallas’ starters returned, they opened the lead back up to double digits and pulled away for a comfortable win. In the second half, Scott Brooks shook things up by keeping Otto Porter in the game and playing Jason Smith at the center instead of Ian Mahinmi. The unit then went on a 12-0 to start the fourth quarter that helped keep the game competitive. But like I said early, the Mavs’ starters wouldn’t let this lead go away.
John Wall returned from his shoulder injury and played very well, including a hot start where he had 12 points and five assists in the first quarter. Wall slowed down in the second half to end up with 23 points, on just 10 shots, and 14 assists on the night. He also finished 13-for-18 from the charity stripe. Bradley Beal had 23 points, and Otto Porter Jr. finished with 13. The Wizards will need more from Porter if they want to win more games. He has shown the ability to score but hasn’t put the team on his shoulders.
Dallas came into tonight’s game with the worst rebounding rate in the league. They outrebounded Washington 53-39 this evening. The Mavericks (2-10) had the NBA’s worst record entering Tuesday but found their rhythm offensively from the opening tip. Rookie Dennis Smith, Jr. had nine points in the first quarter to help get them started. He finished with 22.
The Mavericks, who came into the game a league-worst 1-10 on the season, opened the game with a 7-0 run on the way to a 36-point first quarter. Then, J.J. Barea caught fire when the reserves entered the game, racking up 8 points and 4 assists during a six-minute stretch during the first and second quarter that helped the Mavericks establish a double-digit lead. The Mavs had 64 points at halftime, marking the fifth time this season the Wizards have allowed 60-plus points in a half. Dallas continued to pour it on with 30 points in the third quarter and begin the fourth with a 14-point lead.
The Wizards will look to bounce back on Thursday night as they host Lonzo Ball and the Los Angeles Lakers at Capital One Arena.
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