Mavericks-Wizards Preview

The Dallas Mavericks seem to have turned things around on the

road, and a visit to the nation’s capital would appear to give them

a good chance to continue that success.

The Washington Wizards, though, are playing some of their best

basketball of the season.

Dallas completes a three-game trip Wednesday night as it looks

to win four in a row on the road for the first time in nearly three

years with a fifth straight victory in Washington.

The Mavericks (18-13) are a solid team at home with 11 wins in

15 games, but they began the season with just four victories in

their first 13 away from home before winning the last three on the

road.

Dallas has played particularly well on this trip, beating

Chicago 105-83 on Saturday and holding off Minnesota 100-98 on

Monday behind Shawn Marion’s clutch play down the stretch.

Marion scored 32 points – his most since he had 34 against the

Bulls while with Toronto in April 2009 – hit two huge 3-pointers in

the fourth quarter and swatted away Kevin Love’s 21-foot jumper at

the buzzer.

“I’m all about winning games, man,” Marion said. “Whatever it

takes.”

Marion, who made 14 of 19 shots to go with six rebounds and

three assists, had 14 points, 13 boards and a season-best plus-21

rating Saturday in Chicago.

“Shawn was the key to the game, no question about it,” coach

Rick Carlisle said. “If we’re giving out game balls, it’d be two

game balls in a row for him. Activity was great. Played both ends

of the floor. Didn’t run one play for him. He just produced.”

Dallas will now try to win four straight away from home for the

first time since March 16-30, 2011, while also going for an eighth

consecutive victory over Washington (14-14).

The Wizards have won two straight and five of six, with five of

those games coming on the road. They swept a home-and-home series

against Detroit with a 106-99 victory in Auburn Hills on

Monday.

John Wall had 29 points and seven assists to help Washington get

to .500 after 28 games for the first time since finishing the

2007-08 season 43-39.

“It’s big, and we know where we want to be,” swingman Martell

Webster said. “At this point in the year, it’s a time we’ve got to

get rolling. When teams start to click, the offensive and defensive

schemes start to be all muscle memory.”

Washington scores 99.6 points per game, but that number has

jumped to 105.2 during this 5-1 stretch due in large part to the

team’s shooting. The Wizards are making 48.2 percent of their

attempts and are 55 for 118 (46.6) from 3-point range.

Wall has been the catalyst, averaging 22.9 points and shooting

50.9 percent over the last seven games while scoring at least 20 in

each contest.

“I’m really happy how we’re playing, but the main thing with us

is we have to play one way,” Wall said. “… Be aggressive and play

the right way.”

Dallas had five players score in double figures in a 105-95 win

over visiting Washington on Nov. 12.