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Takeaways from Wizards' loss to Dallas Mavericks

Takeaways from Wizards' loss to Dallas Mavericks

More important than the result for the Wizards, a 112-107 loss to the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday, is that point guard John Wall is OK after having to limp off the court at Verizon Center.

Wall (26 points, 11 assists) helped the Wizards (41-26) take a 57-53 lead at the half, but he came down awkwardly as Nerlens Noel (12 points) challenged his shot in transition. It appeared that his left foot pinned under him and he stayed down.

He left with 1:37 left under his own power and returned to start the third quarter, but his 44th double-double wasn’t enough to stop a furious comeback by Dallas.

Bradley Beal (24 points) was right behind Wall and Bojan Bogdanovic (19 points) and Otto Porter (14 pointts, 10 rebounds, five assists) contributed as they lost the season series with Dallas (29-38) 2-0. Bogdanovic ended a 35-13 run with a three to cut the deficit to 97-90 for Washington.

Harrison Barnes (22 points, nine rebounds) led the Mavericks, followed by Dirk Nowitzki (20 points) and Seth Curry (18 points).

The Wizards took a 74-62 lead in the third quarter but couldn’t sustain. Curry stole an outlet pass and went uncovered for a three-pointer and then Nowitzki hit a mid-range jumper for a 89-87 lead. Nicolas Brussino (11 points) followed with a three to force a timeout with 5:58 left.

Brussino had another three over Marcin Gortat (eight points, 10 rebounds) as he hesitated to close him out at the top of the key.

Nowitzki sealed it with a three at 1:33 to take a 104-95 lead.

[RELATED: John Wall injured on play under basket vs. Mavs]

-- The defensive lapses continued. In the first half, Dallas shot 20 of 39, or 51.3%. Covering pindown screens remain problematic. When the defender is trailing, for instance Porter against Curry because he’s been screened, the help from the big to contest the look isn’t there. It’s an area that has to be cleaned up because while Gortat might be reluctant to leave his man to allow him to slip to the rim for a dunk, the timing has to be better where he can do both. Ian Mahinmi had difficulty in this area, too.

--Nowitzki, like in the first meeting, played mostly as a center. It’s not the strength of his game but he presents a matchup problem because Gortat has to defend him at the arc. But Nowitzki has to defend him in the low post. While Gortat’s stats were modest, Dallas did double-team to help and that created open looks on the pass out.

--Markieff Morris (five points, six rebounds) was saddled with foul trouble as he picked up his fifth early with 7:37 left in the fourth quarter. 

--Brandon Jennings (three points, four assists) made his first three-pointer since joining the Wizards, but the second unit didn’t play as well as it had recently.  Jason Smith (zero points) missed both of his shot attempts. Jennings running the half-court offense still doesn't look like a proper fit. He does better in the open court.

--Kelly Oubre, who only played 39 seconds in the last game, didn’t make an appearance.

[RELATED: How did 2016-17 Wizards players do in their March Madness appearances]

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Wizards set to have Tim Frazier back against Cavs after nasal fracture surgery

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Wizards set to have Tim Frazier back against Cavs after nasal fracture surgery

The All-Star break came at a good time for Wizards point guard Tim Frazier, who missed their last game before the week off due to nasal fracture surgery.

Frazier was back at the Wizards' practice on Tuesday night at Capital One Arena and expects to play on Thursday when the team returns to action on the road at the Cleveland Cavaliers.

"I feel good. I feel like I can go out there and help them compete," he said.

PODCAST: BIGGEST STORYLINES COMING OUT OF ALL-STAR BREAK

Frazier, 27, had surgery to repair his broken nose on Feb. 11 after he was knocked out of the previous night's game between the Wizards and Bulls. Frazier collided face-first with the knee of Bobby Portis and was immediately ushered to the locker room with blood streaming from his nose.

Following the procedure, Frazier had to battle through pain and breathing issues. He feels much better now and had no complications after participating in a full practice.

The challenge now is adjusting to a fitted mask he will have to wear to return to the court. Frazier has never had to wear a mask before in his basketball career.

"[Sweat] was one of the issues today, trying to keep it dry when I'm sweating underneath," he said.

"He looked good," head coach Scott Brooks said. "I thought he would be a little uncomfortable with it, but he seemed fine."

RELATED: WIZARDS HAVE BIG QUESTIONS TO ANSWER IN SECOND HALF

Frazier has been given advice from the Wizards' training staff, as well as teammate Bradley Beal who has had to wear a mask twice before in his career.

"Brad said that after a while you get used to it. Nobody wants to wear it for the rest of their careers besides Rip Hamilton," Frazier said.

Getting Frazier back is significant for the Wizards, who are already down a point guard with John Wall rehabbing from left knee surgery. Without Frazier against the Knicks on Wednesday, the Wizards had to use Beal and Otto Porter to bring the ball up at times. Now, with Tomas Satoransky and Frazier, they have a starting point guard and a backup who is used to playing the position.

They could have three point guards, as the Wizards continue to weigh their options in free agency. They have to add a player within the next two days to meet the league's minimum roster requirement. Most of the free agents they have evaluated have been point guards as they aim to compensate for Wall's absence, which could last well into the month of March.

RELATED: 2018 NBA MOCK DRAFT HAS LOADED CLASS

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Wizards Tipoff podcast: Wizards have big questions to answer coming out of All-Star break

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Wizards Tipoff podcast: Wizards have big questions to answer coming out of All-Star break

On the latest episode of the Wizards Tipoff podcast presented by Greenberg and Bederman, Chase Hughes and Chris Miller look ahead to the biggest questions the Wizards need to answer after the All-Star break. They also explain why Bradley Beal proved a lot in his first All-Star Game appearance.

They also unveiled a new segment involving guessing Wizards players based on their social media captions.

You can listen to the episode right here:

You can download the podcast on Apple Podcasts right here and on Google Play. If you like the show please tell your friends!