It was Monta Ellis’ turn to lead the Dallas Mavericks to a fourth straight road win, beating the Washington Wizards 87-78. They held the Wizards scoreless for four minutes late in the game to win. Ellis finished with 23 points to lead all scorers.
Dallas went into halftime down by three, 42-39, and even trailed after the third quarter, 59-61. Their defense held Washington to only 36 points in the second half and forced eight turnovers.
Coach Rick Carlisle talked about how hard fought a victory it was:
[It was] such a competitive game. Whoever won would have been the survivor.
Dejuan Blair had only four points, but his rebound with 23.8 seconds left sealed the deal. He was fouled on the play and made both free throws to give Dallas a five point lead, 81-76. Ellis went 6-of-6 from the line to seal the win from there.
Carlisle also talked about Blair’s rebound:
It was a pivotal play because if they get it and score…it gives us a chance to make it a two possession game. He was aggressive as he always is. He has had two or three plays this year to end the games coming up with the big rebound. He was doing his job.
Dirk Nowitzki appeared to roll his ankle during the game, but continued to play through it. Carlisle commented on Dirk’s toughness after the game:
When he went out initially, it was unclear as to what happened or whatever. He rolled his ankle. He’s been rolling his ankles for years. It speaks to his toughness that he just always keeps coming back, when he’s hurt playing. Because he knows how important he is.
Nowitzki had another tough night shooting the ball. He was only 3-14 for nine points. Shawn Marion followed up his 32-point performance against Minnesota with nine points and nine rebounds. During the Mavericks three-game road trip, Marion has averaged 18 points per game.
They will return home for three games, starting with Friday night against the high scoring Los Angeles Clippers for the first of their two matchups this month. The Mavs are 2-2 against California teams this season.
Game Notes: The Mavericks last 4-0 road streak was in March 2011. The Wizards are now 14-15, but are tied for the fourth in the Eastern Conference. Shane Larkin continues to get the back-up point guard minutes versus Gal Mekel, who was DNP’d.