The Dallas Mavericks pulled out a great win against one of the best teams in the league tonight. Dirk, Barnes and others made a big impact on the game.
After a tough loss in Toronto on Monday, the Mavericks were looking to rebound and avoid a three-game losing streak. Facing a tough opponent in Washington wasn’t an easy task but neither was the 112-107 comeback victory they accomplished tonight.
The first quarter was highlighted by each team making an impressive run. Washington opened the game with a 10-4 lead, thanks in part to hot shooting from 3-point range and an advantage on the offensive boards (10-7). In fact, there was a sequence at the 6:53 mark that saw Washington grab four consecutive offensive rebounds.
After making a few adjustments, Dallas responded with a 12-4 run of their own at the 5:03 mark. Nerlens Noel converted a dunk assisted by J.J. Barea to get things rolling. Barea would finish the game with an impressive 13 assists. Dirk led the team with eight points on 3-3 shooting while Noel chipped in six. Mavs closed out the quarter down 39-32.
The Mavs would receive some much-needed help in the second quarter from Seth Curry. Curry, as you may know, has been struggling as of late. He looked confident while scoring seven of his first half points (9) on 3-5 shooting.
Washington continued to shoot well and received assistance from Bojan Bogdanovic. Bojan has been playing exceptionally well, since joining Washington in a trade with Brooklyn before the deadline. His seven points helped the Wizards hold off Dallas for a 57-53 halftime lead.
The first half didn’t end before a scary moment for Wizards fans, however. All-Star guard John Wall went down after a drive to the basket with 1:50 left. He suffered a sprained left foot and was taken to the locker room. Wall finished the half with seven points and seven assists.
Much to the delight of the crowd, Wall returned in the second half. Showing no signs of injury, Wall stripped Dirk and scored on a fast break dunk with 9:44 left. His six points and four assists would help Washington extend their lead to 80-73, with one quarter remaining.
The Wizards would cause their own demise, committing seven turnovers in the closing quarter. Reckless errors by Washington allowed Dallas to chip away and eventually take over the game for good. Four minutes into the period, Dallas managed to tie the game at 87 on a three by Curry. They would take their first lead on their next possession, following a jumper by Dirk. Less than four minutes later, Dallas found themselves with a 97-87 lead with 4:46 left. They would never look back.
Player Of The Game: Nicolas Brussino
Wesley Matthews (strained left calf) being out for tonight’s game created a void on both ends of the court. How would the Mavs make up for his scoring (14.4) and defense? Unforeseeable to most, Nicolas Brussino answered the call. He would provide just what the Mavs needed to stay close and cap off their amazing comeback. Brussino finished the game with 11 points (4-5 FG%, 3-4 3P%), 9 rebounds and two steals, in 23 minutes of action. His efficient, timely scoring and effort on defense proved to be the x-factor tonight.
The Mavs now sit at 29-38 and will look to add to their win total on Friday in Philly. The 76ers won’t be an easy opponent, as seen by their narrow loss to Golden State Tuesday night. For tonight, we celebrate. Back to business in two days.