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