The Texas two-step for the Wizards, who were hoping to get over .500 for the first time this season, is complete. After a terrible fourth quarter in which they couldn’t make a shot and the Dallas Mavericks couldn’t miss, they lost 113-105 Tuesday and return to Verizon Center with a two-game losing streak.
The Wizards (16-18) lost to the Houston Rockets on Monday in a game they led by 15 points, 101-91. They regained the lead entering the fourth 88-87 on Dallas but went on a four-minute drought and didn’t recover.
John Wall (27 points, eight assists, four rebounds, three steals) led all scorers and Bradley Beal followed (25 points, six assists), Markieff Morris and Otto Porter (13 points) and Marcin Gortat (12 points, 16 rebounds, four assists).
Dallas (11-24) was led by Harrison Barnes (26 points, seven rebounds, five assists), Deron Williams (21 points), Devin Harris (17 points) and Seth Curry (16 points).
The Wizards fell to 3-12 on the road and will be off Wednesday before playing at home vs. the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday.
--Beal’s three cut the deficit to 110-105 with 2:12 left and the Wizards failed to score the rest of the way. Barnes missed a jumper over Wall, Williams missed a three and Beal forced Barnes into an airball. However, Wall missed two threes and Beal missed one. The Wizards were 11-for-30 overall from three, falling into a similar trap that they did vs. Houston when they shot 6-for-26 to play catch up in a game they'd had in hand. It didn’t work.
--The three-point shooting for Dallas was obscene (17-for-32). Curry was 4-for-5, Williams and Harris 4-for-7, and Barnes and Wes Matthews 2-for-4. They allowed Beal plentiful open looks but he shot just 3-for-11. When the Wizards lost to Houston, it was Porter and Morris given nine open looks and missing all of them.
-- Morris wasn’t able to take full advantage of Dallas switching Matthews onto him. Worse, he picked up three fouls -- two on reach-ins on rebound attempts – in the first half to limit his effectiveness. Matthews (12 points) is an elite defender, but he’s a guard who shouldn’t be comfortable defending the 6-10 Morris anywhere in the post.
--Dirk Nowitzki (11 points) started at center and the Mavericks had difficulty keeping Wall out of the paint because he was too slow on rotations. Even when the defense had time to set, Dallas allowed penetration from Wall just because they were a step slow laterally closing him out and didn’t have a true rim protector. Wall had three-point plays, and-1s, to end the first and second quarters with strong drives that led to layups and contact from the bigs. Jason Smith had Washington’s first field goal of the fourth four minutes in when he ran screen-roll with Beal for a dunk. Mavs coach Rick Carlisle pulled Nowtizki and went with Dwight Powell and Salah Mejri who are more mobile.
--Kelly Oubre (eight points) had his best game since Dec. 16 when he sustained a concussion. He knocked down 2 of 4 threes. Smith (four points, two blocks) remained a spark, too, with his play on both ends. He lasted just eight minutes. Trey Burke and Marcus Thornton, however, were out of sync. They combined to shoot 1-for-6 in 23 total minutes. Dallas had a 43-15 edge in bench scoring.