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Mavericks Edge Past Wizards 105-99, Register Fifth Straight Win

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Jason Terry came off the bench and scored 25 points, nine of which came in the final period, to lead the Mavericks past the Wizards, 105-99. The Jet was joined by Tyson Chandler and Dirk Nowitzki in the 20+ points club, and it was Dirk’s 10 fourth-quarter points that gave Dallas the scoring cushion they needed to hold off the late surge by Washington. 

Although the Wizards’ record may not show it, they are a tough team and they have a tendency to play up to their competition, as was made evident by their close loss to Miami the night before this game. They managed to bust a few streaks of the streak-busters, limiting just four players to double figures. The Mavericks saw 14 straight games with five players over 10 points, and if Jose Barea had scored just one more point, they could have maintained that streak. In addition, until tonight, Dallas had shot over 50% from the field for five straight games. Against the Wizards they only managed a respectable 48 percent.

The victory over the Wizards improved the Mavericks’ current win streak to five games, and Dallas has now won eight of their last 10 games played at Washington. This game marked the first time former Maverick Josh Howard got to face his old team since being sidelined with an injury. He played respectably, with nine points and six rebounds, but it wasn’t the revenge game he apparently had in mind. One player who did give the Mavs some difficulty was John Wall, who scored a team-high 24 points and essentially made Dallas look lethargic by comparison.

That Just Happened.
  • The Mavericks played one of their annoying seesaw games, building leads as large as 13, and then allowing the Wizards to climb back into ties on several occasions. Down the final stretch, the lead changed multiple times before Dallas was finally able to pull in front on a Tyson Chandler put-back.
  • Four out of the five Mavericks starters logged 30+ minutes. Can you guess the one who did not? Rodrigue Beaubois only played 13 minutes and shot an alarming 1-7. It’s important to remember that this is only his fourth game back, and he’s still remembering how to play basketball.
  •  Jason Kidd logged 14 assists, just three fewer than the entire Wizards team combined. In addition, with his three steals in the game, he moved to within six steals of passing Gary "The Glove" Payton (2,445) for third all-time. He is currently ranked first in steals among active NBA players.
  • The Mavericks out-rebounded the Wizards 51-48, but committed 13 turnovers to the Wizards’ nine. Dallas did, however, out fast-break a very fast-break oriented team with 24 points to Washington’s 13. 

Box Score Notables
  • Tyson Chandler and Shawn Marion both logged double-doubles, Chandler with 23/13 (his highest scoring game of the season) and Marion with 13/10. Chandler now has 16 double-doubles, and the Mavericks are 13-3 when he is able to achieve this. Marion brought his tally to six on the season.
  • Chandler was also the +/- winner of the game, finishing at +14 and shooting an impressive 10-14.
  • Jason Terry, aside from his hot shooting, also managed to dish out four assists, and committed exactly zero turnovers. The turnover crown tonight was passed to Shawn Marion, who committed a team-high three TOs.
  • DeShawn Stevenson, who stepped up so nobly in Dirk and Caron’s absences, only saw two minutes of playing time, took just one shot, and missed it. Joining him in his ineptitude was Ian Mahinmi, who played three minutes, took and missed one shot, and committed a turnover.
  • Not a single Maverick shot perfectly from the free throw line. As a result, they finished at 67.7% for the game, which is well below their season average of 78.4%, which is WELL below what we expect them to be based on recent history.
  • Brian Cardinal received a DNP-Coach’s Decision. We are all offended.
Game Quotes

Carlisle on the Mavs streak of double-figure scorers: "Well, we’ve been healthier during that stretch, we have developed a balance that has carried through that period of time… we’ve been an unselfish team, but when we’re a healthy unselfish team, it leads to more guys getting involved. I think with our situation, we’ve got one mega-star in Dirk, but we have to give him real solid support with the rest of the guys and four or five guys in double figures means we’re playing good offensive basketball, and when we don’t, we’re probably going to lose."

Chandler on losing the lead but still winning: "A lot of times you’ve got to grind these games out, and I was proud of the guys for coming up with stops. I thought Jason Kidd made some key stops, for him to be 37, I believe that’s his age, and still running up and down the court with that young fella, man, with that young dude on the other side…it’s impressive."

Nowitzki on beating teams on the road: "I feel like every game on the road is hard. Teams are playing well at home, they play with confidence, so it was a good win for us, and we’ve got another one tomorrow."

Terry on the current state of the defense: "Defense is not suffering. For us, right now we’re in a great rhythm offensively, so it’s overshadowing our defense, but for us, first team to 100. That’s been our motto. Our record is phenomenal when we score over 100 points. Timely defensive stops is more what we’re concerned over. Over a full game, teams are gonna score on you, but for us, our offense, good shot selection allows our defense to set, and that’s what we’ve been doing."

Kidd on having a lot of scoring options (this was my question and I managed to ask it without crying): "I’m a quarterback. I just find my receivers. Dirk makes it easy, Jet, Peja, Shawn, Tyson, you go down the list you got a lot of guys who can put the ball in the basket, so for me, if I was the selfish guy, I would shoot the ball and make them pass it to me, but my job is to get the guys the ball in the right spot and let them do what they do best."

Carlisle on the Wizards: "This was a tough game. It was a tough game on paper, and it was a tough game on the floor. This team is athletic, and they’re competing hard. They play their best basketball against the better teams. So we knew it would be a dogfight, I’m glad we hung in and were able to get the win. Obviously we would like to do a few things better down the stretch, but the guys found a way and it’s good to get out of here alive."

Carlisle on Rodrigue: "Well, tonight was a down night for him. And we understood that there we going to be some nights like this, and this is just part of the cycle of him coming back. Fortunately he only played 13 minutes so he’s fresh for tomorrow night. These situations are learning situations for him, and so we’ll show him some film individually tomorrow, he’ll make adjustments, and he’ll do better tomorrow."


The Game Ball Goes To...

The Jasons are going to have to share. Terry gets the game ball for balling out of control and scoring 25 points and committing no turnovers. He told me before the game that he planned on scoring 31 points, and even though he fell short, I still give him props. Kidd gets the game ball for dishing out exactly half of the Mavericks' total assists. He finished with 14, with 11 of those coming in the first half. Of the 22 baskets made through the second quarter, he orchestrated half of them. Clearly, this team would have little to no offense if it weren't being run through him.

Tomorrow evening, the Mavericks face the Toronto Raptors, who beat them at home in January when Nowitzki was on the sidelines. The game is an early one, at 5:00pm CT.