Final: Wizards 114, Mavs 111
Box Score | Highlights
Behind the Box Score
The Mavs got off to a very strong start in the first quarter, scoring 1.217 points per possession in the opening frame. But the Wizards held serve themselves, hitting 63.2 percent in the first and 55.0 percent during the entire first half. It’s tough to beat a team that starts so hot, even though Dallas defended many of those shots very well.
Raymond Felton messed around and got a triple-double. He finished with 10 points, 11 assists, and 11 rebounds, becoming the first Maverick to do so since Jason Kidd on March 1, 2011. The last non-Kidd triple-double was by Dirk Nowitzki on March 29, 2010.
The Mavericks staged a furious rally in the closing seconds of the game to get to within three points, 112-109, with 32.4 seconds on the clock. The Mavs trailed by 18 at the beginning of the fourth quarter and Washington stretched the lead to as high as 21. After a stop, Dallas brought it to within 112-111 after J.J. Barea was fouled in transition with 4.4 seconds left.
Wesley Matthews had another productive shooting night from deep against the Wizards. After sinking a career-high 10 treys last weekend in Washington, Matthews knocked down 6 of 11 attempts in this one. When he’s hitting, it does change the dynamic of how teams defend the Mavericks, especially those who like playing small. It becomes more difficult to double-team Dirk Nowitzki in those situations because the defense can’t rotate in time to contest his shots. No matter the result of a game, it’s always a good sign to see Matthews’ shots falling.
Williams didn’t play in the game due to a stomach ailment and his presence was missed. The point guard has such good command of the offense and can almost always get Dallas into a good set on offense. Felton got the start at point guard, and while he dished out a team-high 7 assists, he’s performed even better in the 2-guard spot next to Williams. D-Will’s absence prevented the Mavs from rolling out the Williams/Felton/Matthews/Dirk Nowitzki/Zaza Pachulia lineup, which is still the best in basketball among high-usage groups.
The Mavs (13-11) play the Phoenix Suns (10-14) Monday at American Airlines Center. Tip-off is at 7:30 p.m. Central.