Mavericks stops 6-game slide with victory over Wizards
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Dallas Mavericks love coming to Washington.
Harrison Barnes scored 31 points, rookie Dennis Smith Jr. had 22 and the Mavericks snapped a six-game losing streak with a 113-99 victory over John Wall and the Wizards on Tuesday night.
Dallas has won nine straight in Washington dating to 2008 and 14 of the last 15 meetings overall.
“We’ve been getting kicked around and it’s no fun and tonight our guys drew a line in the sand and really brought things to another level defensively,” coach Rick Carlisle said.
Wesley Matthews made four 3-pointers and finished with 14 points for Dallas, which improved to 2-10 with its first road win of the season. Salah Mejri had 10 points, 12 rebounds and five blocked shots.
Wall had 23 points and 14 assists in his return from a sprained left shoulder, but the Wizards lost for the fifth time in seven games. Bradley Beal had 23 points, and Otto Porter Jr. finished with 13.
Dallas scored a season-high 64 in the first half and led by 11 at the break. Barnes had 16 points in the opening half, and the Mavericks shot 52 percent from the field.
“We are not a team that can just outscore anybody,” Wall said. “You have to be able to guard in this league and we have not done that.”
Dallas led by as many as 16 in the second half before Washington put together a 14-0 run to close to 90-88 with 8:56 remaining. The Mavericks responded with a 15-5 spurt and were never challenged again.
The Mavericks outrebounded the Wizards 53-39 and held Washington to just 42.7 percent shooting from the field. Wall had just four points in the second half.
Dallas came into the game averaging 97.9 points per game, 28th in the league, but scored a season-high 113.
“I don’t know why that is,” Dirk Nowitzki said when asked about the Mavericks’ longtime success in Washington. “At this point we’ll take the win whenever and wherever we can get.”
Mavericks: Dorian Smith-Finney was active after missing the last four games with left knee soreness. Smith-Finney had five points in 16 minutes. ... Nowitzki started at center for the fifth time this season and scored six points.
Wizards: Wall shot 13 of 18 from the free-throw line after combining to go just 5 for 16 in his previous two games. ... Beal had his streak of scoring at least 35 points snapped at three games, one short of setting a Washington record.
Mejri was 3 for 4 from the field and 4 for 6 at the line. He came off the bench after starting the last game for the Mavericks.
“He was an eraser at the rim,” Carlisle said. “He rebounded. He gave us a presence in there.”
PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT
For the first time since the season started, Dallas was able to get together and just practice. For Nowitzki, that made all the difference in the world.
“That 11 games in 18 day stretch was tough for us and we didn’t really have a lot of practice time and we have a bunch of young guys so thought yesterday was a big day for us,” he said.
Mavericks: Begin a stretch of five home games in six against the Cavaliers on Saturday. The teams split two meetings last season with each winning at home.
Wizards: Host the Lakers on Thursday in the second game of a four-game homestand. Los Angeles beat the Wizards 102-99 in overtime on Oct. 25.
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