Wizards fall to Mavericks

Wizards fall to Mavericks
January 1, 2013, 8:30 pm
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Mavericks Wizards Highlights

Normally, Randy Wittman interjects some gallows humor into his post-game news conferences.

Normally, there’s a wisecrack in there aimed at a reporter or a referee or an opposing player.

Tuesday night there seemed to be only resignation from the Wizards head coach after his team blew a 14-point lead en route to a 103-94 loss to Vince Carter and the Dallas Mavericks in front of 14,456 fans at Verizon Center.

The loss dropped the Wizards’ record to 4-25, while the Mavs snapped a six-game losing streak to improve to 13-19.

“This is a veteran team with guys that have won a championship,” Wittman said of the Mavs, who won an NBA title in 2011. “They were a wounded animal coming in here and this was a big win. Carter came in and led them.”

For two quarters it looked like the Wizards might start off the New Year with their second win in three games. They built a 14-point lead in the second quarter and went into halftime holding a lead for just the sixth time this season.

[For the record, they are 2-4 when leading at the half, 1-21 when trailing and 0-1 when tied].

The Mavericks turned a four-point halftime deficit into a 12-point lead after three quarters by outscoring the Wizards 35-19 in the third frame.

“We have to learn that even when we are up by 10 we have to keep playing,” Wizards forward Kevin Seraphin said. “We have to continue to play the same way because we get lazy and allow others to come back.”

This time, it was the 35-year-old Carter leading the Mavericks. He scored 14 of his game-high 23 points in the second half, including a thunderous dunk near the end of the final quarter.  

“I was telling him the whole time, ‘You still can jump as high as you used to,’” said Wizards rookie Bradley Beal, who matched a season-high with 22 points. “He said, ‘Oh, I’m getting old.’ He still has it. That last dunk, you can’t help but cheer for him. It was amazing. I was in awe.”

Shawn Marion added 11 points and 13 rebounds for the Mavs, while Chris Kaman had 12 points and seven rebounds and Dirk Nowitzki came off the bench for 11 points, six of them in that dominant third quarter.

“We wake up the beast and the beast starts making shots,” Nene said of Nowitzski. “And Vince Carter looked like the young Vince Carter.”

While the Mavs were dominating the Wizards in the third quarter, three of the Wizards’ starting five were held without a point. In fact, only four Wizards finished in double digits in scoring – Beal [22], Martell Webster [14], Emeka Okafor, 14] and Seraphin [10].

Nene was limited to seven points and five rebounds in 25 minutes.

Dallas, they know me very well,” nene said. “They haver all kinds of videos. They did a great job on me.”

When the Mavs ran their lead to 14 early in the fourth quarter, Wittman had seen enough. With 9:10 remaining on the clock and the Wizards trailing 90-76, he called a timeout, took a knee in front of his players, and …

“I told them nine minutes is almost a full quarter,” Wittman said. “I tried to keep them upbeat and believing the game’s not over.”
The Wizards climbed to within seven points but could not get any closer as the Mavs handed them their 10th loss in 11 games.

If there was a lesson in the loss, Beal seemed to grasp it.

 “We came out strong and aggressive, probably the best start we’ve had,” he said. “And we didn’t keep our foot on their throat.”

The Wizards will try to earn their first victory of 2013 Wednesday night in Indiana against the 18-13 Pacers.

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