The Washington Wizards have dealt with injuries all season and the news that Bradley Beal will miss at least two weeks with a stress reaction to his right fibula is a huge blow.
However, when one man goes down another has to step up. That is exactly what Otto Porter did tonight as he scored a career-high 28 points (11-of-18 shooting) in route to a Wizards 114-111 win over the Dallas Mavericks.
Washington’s win over Dallas snapped an 11-game losing streak against this team. The last time they were victorious over the Mavericks was on October 27th, 2009 on opening night.
John Wall continued his torrid December as he recorded his third straight double-double with 26 points on 10-of-19 shooting (3-of-4 from three) and 16 assists. This is Wall’s fifth-straight game with at least 26 points. Marcin Gortat added a double-double of his own with 14 points and 12 rebounds. Jared Dudley also gave 13 points (3-of-5 from three) and seven rebounds.
The Wizards grabbed control of this game in the third quarter, as they outscored the Mavericks 39-22. Porter was a man possessed as he scored 17 of his 28 points on 7-of-8 shooting from the field. Washington would build a 21-point lead and looked to have this game in control. Not so fast, that’s why you play four quarters and 48 minutes.
Dallas would respond with a 39-point fourth quarter and ended the game on a 19-8 run that fell just short. Wesley Matthews led the Mavericks with 28 points and shot 6-of-11 from behind the arc. It was only last Sunday when Matthews nailed 10 three-pointers against Washington in their 116-104 victory.
The difference maker for the Mavericks in the fourth quarter was backup guard J.J. Barea. He finished the game with 21 points, 13 of which came in the final quarter. The duo of Matthews and Barea finished the game shooting a combined 11-of-17 from behind the arc. Raymond Felton quietly put together a triple-double with 10 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists.
Dirk Nowitzki was held in check as he finished with 13 points on 3-of-9 shooting from the field.
Both teams shot lights out from the three-point line, each dropping a total of 14 treys. However, the Wizards had the overall shooting edge as they finished with a blistering 51.8 percent from the field, as opposed to a 42.7 percent mark for Dallas. Each team turned the ball over 13 times, but Washington killed the Mavericks on the fast break 31-to-14.
Now that Beal will be out for a long string of games, the likes of Garrett Temple and Ramon Sessions will be picking up his minutes. Sessions finished the game with 17 points and six assists while Temple gave a pedestrian five points and four assists. Despite not putting up gaudy numbers, Temple’s value is in what he does on the defensive end and he did finish with a +16, which was the highest on the team.
Washington continues their road trip on Monday when they face the Memphis Grizzlies. Dallas will stay home and face the Phoenix Suns on Monday.