Wesley Matthews burned the Wizards with 36 points on 10-17 shooting from three-point range as the Mavericks beat the Wizards, 116-104. Once again, John Wall played very well logging 28 points, 10 assists, 4 rebounds, and 5 steals, before bruising his knee in the fourth quarter, but it wouldn’t be enough.
After starting Ryan Hollins at center for the second straight game, the Wizards quickly made an adjustment to go back to their smaller lineup. With Wall-Beal-Temple-Dudley-Blair on the floor, the Wizards were able to get out in transition and get some easy points against the Mavericks.
The Wizards used a 7-0 run to erase an early deficit to lead 14-10 midway through the quarter. John Wall would find DeJuan Blair (can’t believe I’m typing that) who finished with a floater in the lane.
The small ball lineup bit the Wiz a little bit in the first quarter as they gave up six layups but even so, trailed by just one, 29-28 after the first.
Once again, Gary Neal started out the second quarter firing away as he knocked down two jumpers to start the quarter. Ramon Sessions then hit an acrobatic layup from behind the backboard as the Wizards regained the lead 36-34 at the 9:56 mark.
The Wizards then transitioned to their even smaller lineup of Wall-Neal-Temple-Porter-Dudley to go on a quick 8-0 run. The Wizards utilized a 18-7 run to take 48-41 lead. Gary Neal knocked down a corner three to give the Wizards a 10 points lead and it felt like the Wiz might be able to take a firm grip on this game.
That wouldn’t be the case as the Mavs closed the quarter on a 6-0 but the Wizards still held a 58-55 lead at halftime.
The Mavs carried over their hot shooting to start the third, mainly Wesley Matthews. Matthews scored 14 points in the third quarter including 4-5 from three-point range. He was knocking down contested threes, uncontested threes, it didn’t matter. Whenever he released the ball, it was going in.
The Wizards wouldn’t lay down though. John Wall also had himself quite the quarter scoring 14 points as well. There was a stretch in the quarter where Wall scored 12 straight points for the Wizards.
Towards the end of the third quarter, Wall took an outlet pass the length of the court, got fouled hard and made the bucket to cut the lead to one:
It felt like this could be the turning point the Wizards needed.
However, the Mavs regained the lead 87-84 going into the fourth.
Once again, Matthews was scorching hot to start the fourth knocking down his first three three-pointers. The Wizards went with the super small-ball lineup again of Wall-Beal-Neal-Porter-Dudley and double-teamed the post which left them scrambling on defense. Matthews was the beneficiary.
The Wizards made one last push when John Wall found Bradley Beal in the corner for three to cut the lead to six with just with just minutes to play. With the game all but out of reach, Wall banged knees with Jeremy Evans and had to be helped to the locker room. Not a pretty site for Wizards fans.
The Wiz scrapped tonight but the ball didn’t bounce their way in the second half. Mavs win 116-104.
The box score doesn’t tell the whole story: Yes the Wizards were out-rebounded 50-31, but they also took 13 more shots than the Mavericks tonight. The Wizards scrapped on defense, rotated fairly well on defense, dove for the 50/50 balls; but the ball seemed to bounce the Mavs’ way in the second half. It doesn’t help when a guy hits 10 threes on you either.
Wizards only commit 6 turnovers: The Wizards took care of the ball tonight only committing six turnovers. As a result, the Wizards got 13 more field goal attempts than the Mavs (89-76). They didn’t win but it was nice to see this team value the basketball and not make lazy passes.
Free Throw Shooting: The Wizards shot 12-21 (57 percent) from the free throw line tonight. That’s really, really bad. DeJuan Blair went 1-3, OK, no surprise. Ramon Sessions 3-6, not ideal. Bradley Beal was 3-6, which is not OK.