Rapid Reaction: Mavs 87, Wizards 78
January, 1, 2014
By Tim MacMahon | ESPNDallas.com
The Dallas Mavericks finished a flawless road trip with a 87-78 win over the Washington Wizards.
How it happened: The Mavs finished an ugly game with a 19-6 run, keyed by Vince Carter’s clutch scoring.
Carter sparked by scoring seven points in a span of 2:28, when the Mavs seized the lead for good. Monta Ellis, who scored a game-high 23 points, iced the win by going 6-of-6 from the line in the final 17.9 seconds.
Both teams were ice cold from the floor for most of the game. The Mavs shot only 38.5 percent from the floor, with Dirk Nowitzki and Jose Calderon both going 3-of-14. The Wizards, who were led by John Wall’s 22 points, shot only 37.5 percent from the floor.
The Mavs got a big boost from their bench in the fourth quarter. Carter had his seven-point spurt and finished with 13 points. Brandan Wright scored six of his 10 points in the fourth quarter, going 3-of-3 from the floor in the final frame, including a jump hook that gave the Mavs the lead for good with 4:05 remaining.
The Dallas reserves had 17 points in the fourth quarter, matching the Wizards’ total for the frame.
What it means: After losing three of their previous four games, the Mavs swept their three-game road trip to improve to 19-13 overall and 8-9 away from home. Dallas will have a chance to match its longest winning streak of the season at home Friday night against the Los Angeles Clippers. The Wizards dropped to 14-15, which is still tied for the fourth-best record in the Eastern Conference.
Play of the game: Wright slipped a high pick, sliced down the lane, caught a bullet pass from Carter and threw down a two-hand dunk before Nene Hilario could get in position to challenge him as a help defender. That play, which was a virtual replay of a dunk by Wright assisted by Carter in the first quarter, gave the Mavs a one-point lead with 9:13 remaining.
Stat of the night: Calderon had only three previous games in his career in which he made three field goals or fewer on at least 14 attempts. Nowitzki had only six such previous games in his career.