Late Composure by Mavericks Spoils Bradley Beal’s Debut


Nov 19, 2014; Washington, DC, USA; Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki (41) dribbles as Washington Wizards forward Nene Hilario (42) defends during the first half at Verizon Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Wizards had not beaten the Dallas Mavericks since 2009, but Randy Wittman had his team sitting at 7-2 and undefeated at home.

Bradley Beal made his season debut and scored a team-high 21 points in just 26 minutes. Gortat and Nene held Dirk Nowitzki to just 13 points on 4-of-12 shooting. And John Wall dished out 11 assists en route to another double-double.

Sounds good enough for a Wizards win, right? Wrong.

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Monta Ellis torched the Wizards for 34 points – including 24 in the first half – and Tyson Chandler made his presence felt defensively with 13 defensive rebounds (16 total) and three blocks as the Mavericks continued their winning ways against the Wizards with a 105-102 road victory.

While both teams played evenly throughout the game – 15 lead changes and nine ties – there was a key difference toward the end of the game that allowed the Mavericks to pull away from the Wizards: Dallas knew who to go to late, while it looked as if Washington scrambled down the stretch.

JJ Barea scored six of the Mavericks’ final 11 points in the final 2:23 of the game and assisted a Nowitzki three during that stretch to seal the win for Dallas.

Barea finished the game with 14 points and six assists, and played the final 14:42 of the game instead of Jameer Nelson.

On the other end of the court, the Wizards had misses from their three go-to players – Wall, Pierce and Beal – including an errant three-point attempt from Wall with 27 seconds left in the game off an inbound pass (Washington had a chance to run the clock down and set up a good shot).

While Beal provided a spark for Washington all night in limited minutes, his point guard struggled all night. Wall had just two points in the first half, and despite finishing with 11 points and 11 assists, had three turnovers and shot just 5-of-17 from the field for a +/- rating of -6.

Defensively, Washington held the big names – aside from Ellis – in check. Nowitzki – except for his clutch three – was off all night and Chandler Parsons (11 points, 4-of-12 shooting) was bested by Paul Pierce (17 points, five boards).

But Chandler’s presence on the board proved big late, and the Mavericks also got a huge spark off the bench from Brandan Wright. Wright scored 10 points in the second half and finished the game with 14 points and six boards. He also sent Kevin Seraphin to the bench with his new signature poster.

Although the Wizards, now 7-3, proved they can play with some of the best in the league (Dallas sits at 9-3), they have yet to beat a team with a record above .500 this season.

The Wizards will need to get this game off their minds quickly, as they have another big home game Friday when LeBron and the Cavaliers come to town.

Tip-off for Friday night’s game starts at 8 p.m. on ESPN.