The Wizards came into Dallas looking to bounce back after a heartbreaking loss on Sunday night in OKC and didn't quite have enough, falling to the Mavs, 105-95. Washington jumped out to an electric start, taking the early nine point lead but the Mavericks would grab the edge early in the second quarter and would never rescind it. The Wizards got as close as four but hot shooting from Dirk Nowitzki and Monta Ellis held the Wizards off. Trevor Ariza led all scorers with 27 points on 10/17 shooting and 5/11 from three point range. Marcin Gortat and John Wall both had double-doubles with Gortat going for 12 points and 12 boards while Wall had 14 points and 10 assists. - Jacob Raim
Randy Wittman Pregame Availability:
Just settling in here at American Airlines Center as we get ready for #WizMavs tonight.
The mood is good and I think from the players to the coaches, everyone can see that this team was in position to win on Sunday night in OKC. While they aren't happy with the end result, it was no fluke that they had the Thunder down 10 with three minutes left. Looking at the big picture, I think it proved to this team that they can beat anyone in this league.
Bradley Beal scored a career-high 34 points in that overtime loss, so one thing we'll be watching for tonight is what can he do for an encore.
Tonight will be a good test of character to see how they respond to that tough loss and also will be a good test to that defense we saw Sunday night. Despite the late comeback, that was the Wizards best defensive effort of the season and they'll need that effort again tonight against this high-powered offense in Dallas.
Al Harrington talked about the importance of that defense in today's Courtside Report with Casey Phillips:
In his pregame availability, one of the reporters asked Wizards head coach Randy Wittman about Dirk being 15 points away from passing Jerry West on the all-time points list. Witt laughed and said "I hope we hold him to 14". That would be a good start to limiting this high-powered Mavs offense.
No real injury updates from the Wizards; Al Harrington who is dealing with a sore knee, is expected to be available according to Wittman. He said that will be something Harrington has to deal with throughout the season.
We'll be chatting live from center court at 8:30pm tonight. I'll see you there.
Hello from Dallas.
We got in late Sunday night after that heartbreaker in OKC and then had a practice yesterday afternoon. The good thing about this group is that they are resilient. They were certainly down in the postgame locker room on Sunday night, but by the time Monday rolled around it was all about focusing on the Mavs.
Yesterday the team had a good spirited practice and then afterwards, some of the guys stuck around to play some schoolyard style 3-on-3. The kind where defense is optional and the game is more of a showcase of skills. The teams were split up into Webster, Temple, and Booker vs. Seraphin, Vesely and Rice.
Here's a clip from the 3-on-3 game:
Moving on to Dallas This Dallas team looks very different than the one the Wiz played a year ago. The additions of Monta Ellis and Jose Calderon bring a brand new backcourt to Big D and they are a tough tandem to deal with. Calderon is a classic pass-first facilitator, while Ellis is an attacking two-guard who can score from anywhere on the court.
One guy who won't look unfamiliar in a Mavs jersey tonight is Dirk. He's played his entire 16-year career here in Dallas, and at the age of 35 he is still a major threat for the Mavs on offense. Nene will likely start on him, which could be a tough matchup as he'll have to play farther away from the basket than he would like. On the flip side, look for Nene to use his size on the low block to overpower Dirk, who's never been known as a defensive stopper.
After practice, Marcin Gortat talked about the challenges that the Mavs present and some of the keys to tonight's game:
Randy Wittman also spoke to the media about tonight's game:
More from the arena later tonight.