W2W4: 'Must win' for Mavs vs. winless Wizards

DALLAS – The Mavs’ three-game losing streak better stop Wednesday night.

They’ve got the winless Washington Wizards coming to town, a night after being blown out by the Charlotte Bobcats. Not that the Mavs can afford to turn up their noses at anybody right now.

"Anybody in the NBA can win, so we're not going to overlook them," point guard Darren Collison said. "That's a very tough team as far I'm concerned, and we really need to win that game.

"We've got to win this next game. It's a must-win game for us for the simple fact that we did let some slip away from us."

Records: Mavs (4-4); Wizards (0-6)

When: 7:30 p.m.

Where: American Airlines Center


Radio: ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM/1270 AM (Spanish)

What to watch: Rick Carlisle admittedly sounds like a broken record. Defense and rebounding. Defense and rebounding. That’s all he wants to talk about right now. He’s especially concerned with the way the Mavs have allowed dribble penetration the last two games. “We’re just getting lined up and beat,” Carlisle said. “It wasn’t happening when we were on a shotmaking roll. The thing we have to remind ourselves of constantly in this league is it’s a lot easier to be energized when the ball’s going in. But our approach has got to be that we’re going to be energetic and tough-minded defensively no matter what and not be influenced the other way.”

The Mavs are shaking up their starting lineup in an effort to get more energy on the floor at the beginning of the game. Don’t expect Carlisle to exercise much patience if the Mavs play with anything less than maximum effort.

Key matchup: O.J. Mayo vs. Bradley Beal – Any other Wizard worth worrying about? Beal, the third overall pick, has struggled more often than not while forced into a go-to guy role right off the bat. He’s averaging 12.2 points per game on 34.4 percent shooting, but he did have a 22-point, 7-of-14 performance in a loss to the Bucks last week. Mayo is averaging 21.4 points per game, shooting 60 percent from 3-point range.

Injuries: Mavs – PF Dirk Nowitzki (knee) and F Shawn Marion (knee) are out. Wizards – PG John Wall (knee) and C Nene (foot) are out.

Up next: at Indiana Pacers, 6 p.m. Friday