Mavs at Wizards Final: Wiz collapse in the 4th quarter, lose to the Mavs, 112-107.

Harrison Barnes leads the way for the Mavericks with 22 points while Dirk Nowitzki chips in with 20 as Dallas erases a 12-point deficit to beat the Wizards, 112-107. The House of Guards combined for 50 (Wall with 26, Beal with 24) but it wouldn’t be enough as once again, they don’t get much help from their frontcourt in Markieff Morris and Marcin Gortat.

Unlike previous games, the Wizards started this one hot as they connected on four of their first five shots to take an early 10-2 lead. The Wizards were knocking down their threes at a high rate as they hit five in a defense-optional first quarter. Dallas shot an impressive 65 percent in the first quarter while the Wizards managed to hit on 58 percent of their shots and led, 39-32 after one.

Bogdanovic really likes playing in Verizon Center since he got traded here. Bogey scored nine points in his first seven minutes of play as the Wizards were able to stretch the lead out to eight. Dallas would answer with a mini-run of their own with some nice shots from Seth Curry and Nowitzki to get them back in this one.

Scary moment for the Wizards as John Wall drove to the basket late in the quarter and hit the ground hard.

Wall hobbled into the tunnel as the Wizards led, 57-53 at halftime.

Wall would be OK as he’d start the second half but looked like a shell of himself. Even so, Wall continued to dish out assists and stretched the Wizards lead to 12, 74-62 when he found Otto Porter in the corner for three, midway through the period. Washington had an 80-73 lead entering the fourth quarter and it looked like they’d close this one out.

But Dallas had other plans. Back-to-back threes from Dirk and Curry cut the Wizards’ lead to one and Yogi Ferrell tied the game at 85 when he knocked in a straightaway three-pointer from distance. The Mavs opened the quarter on a 19-7 run behind some hot shooting and very poor defense from Washington.

The Wizards were content with switching everything and the Mavs, mainly Nowitzki exploited the mismatches. Dirk had several jumpers over Wall down the stretch as well as a three to put Dallas up 105-94 with under a minute remaining. The Wizards made a last ditch effort to stretch the game out by fouling but would ultimately come up short.

Mavs win, 112-107.

Fourth quarter to forget

The Wizards had a horrendous fourth quarter where they were outscored 39-27. Even worse, the team committed seven of their 12 turnovers in the final period. As mentioned, defense has been a major problem for this team as of late and that was on display in the fourth. The Wizards willingly switched a guard onto Nowitzki which resulted in easy shots for the 7-footer. The Wizards better get this defense cleaned up quickly if they want to make any type of run in the postseason.

Where’s the defense? 

The defense has been a major problem for this team since the All-Star break and tonight was no different. Dallas came into this game as one of the worst scoring teams in the league yet managed to drop 112 on 50.6 percent shooting. The Wizards gave the Mavs too many open threes and Dallas made them pay.

Tough games for Morris and Gortat

The two frontcourt mates held their own in the rebounding column but had a tough time scoring as the duo combined for 13 points on 6-16 shooting. Gortat had a lot of opportunities as the Wizards went to him early and often on the block in the first half. Morris, on the other hand, wasn’t aggressive in finding his shot and missed his only two attempts from three-point range. The Wizards are going to need a better effort from both of these guys down the stretch.

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