The Wizards have found plenty of ways to lose this season especially late in games, but against Dallas it was a third-quarter swoon that doomed Washington in a 103-94 loss to the Mavericks at Verizon Center Tuesday night.
Down 52-48 at halftime, Dallas outscored the Wizards 35-19 in the third quarter to help the Mavericks snap a six-game skid.
"Third quarter they came out and kind of blitzed us pretty good there," Wizards coach Randy Wittman said. "As a team they turned up their intensity and shot very well from the field."
The Wizards played some of their better basketball in the first half and it reflected in the score, as they led leading Dallas 39-25 with 8:44 left in the second quarter. The Wiz still had a 52-43 advantage with 1:36 before the break, but the Mavericks closed on a 5-0 run and carried that momentum over to the second half.
"We came out strong and aggressive and probably the best start we ever had, but we didn't so to speak keep our foot on their throat," Wizards guard Bradley Beal said. "We’ve got to learn how to keep a lead and maintain it. We had them down by ten-plus points and then we let them back in the game too easily and they came back strong and put us away easily."
Beal, who finished with a team-high 22 points, was the only starter to score a field goal in the third quarter.
"It was a different game," Wittman said about the ill-fated third quarter. "You know we gave them some confidence I think, and when they got going there and we couldn't make any stops and they got confident."
The 4-25 Wizards turn right around and visit 18-13 Indiana tonight.