Dorian Finney-Smith hit a 3-pointer with 9.2 seconds left to play to give the Wizards a heart-breaking 125-124 loss at the American Airlines Center in Dallas.
It was ended a stretch of back-to-back wins by the Wizards, who drop to 29-35 on the season. A Bradley Beal 3-pointer was no good despite a strong look late.
Here are four observations from Saturday’s game in Texas:
Russell Westbrook stars for Wizards
It turns out Russell Westbrook is just as hot in May as he was in April.
Westbrook kept the Wizards in the game, especially in the second quarter, as he finished one of his best games as a Wizard with 42 points, nine assists and 10 rebounds. He failed to tally another triple-double, but in reality, his triple-double streak mattered not as he sometimes single-handedly was the source of offense for the Wizards.
He ended the third quarter with 34 points, as his offensive prowess led the Wizards on a night where they needed to stay in the game against a hot-shooting Mavericks’ offense.
There were times during the night he shot heat-check 3-pointers and there was nothing Dallas could do.
Luka shines for Dallas:
The stars were out in Dallas on Saturday and for the first quarter, Luka Doncic owned the night. Not to be out-shined by Westbrook, he finished with a triple-double of his own.
He started hot and had 31 points, 12 rebounds and a remarkable 20 assists. One of the brightest young stars in the game certainly played the part against the Wizards.
He had a few other contributing pieces, but Doncic was clearly Dallas' rock.
Wizards lose for just second time since April 10:
The Wizards have been playing their best basketball of the season of late, but weren't able to continue that streak against the Mavericks.
The game went back and forth down the stretch but against the playoff-bound Mavericks, it wasn't enough despite a chance to win at the end.
The schedule won't relent for the Wizards, who will play the Pacers, Bucks, Raptors, Pacers again and Hawks over the next five games in a stretch that will decide their season.
Owning the paint:
The Wizards controlled the paint and out-rebounded the Mavericks 52-47 and outscored them in the paint 60-42. Westbrook led the Wizards in rebounds. They also had three blocks, notably one by Daniel Gafford with just under five minutes left to play that led to free throw shots on the other end of the floor for the Wizards.
When the Wizards don’t shoot well from deep (they shot 31.6%), they’ve got to win the paint. That certainly played a factor in their comeback, though a late Mavericks push ended the Wizards' chances.