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.
-- 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.