Mavericks 97, Wizards 86
It was a game until Dirk Nowitzki took over for a brief stretch of the fourth quarter and then handed off to Jason Kidd. The Wizards were outscored 27-18 in the fourth and Kidd did much of the damage with seven assists while picking apart the Wiz defense.
"He's the greatest point guard in the world," said Mavs guard Jason Terry, who scored 25.
Terry hit back-to-back threes to erase a Wiz lead at the end of the third and that was basically that.
-Caron Butler was visibily upset on the bench during a timeout with under 10 seconds to go. It's the first time I really saw a player blow up so far this season. It didn't appear to be directed anywhere specific and that was confirmed by people afterward, but to me it was the first sign that this thing is really sinking.
"Just want to win," Butler said when I saw him outside of the locker room. "That's all. I just want to win."
-Ed Tapscott continues to search for a mix that will work. I liked the lineup he went with a for a stretch of the second quarter, one that had Darius Songaila, Caron Butler, Antawn Jamison, Mike James and Nick Young on the court together. Also liked to seeing Javaris Critteton getting some minutes - this team has to find out what he can and can't do before this season is over.
-Dominic McGuire had some solid minutes as well. During one stretch of the first half, he defended Terry, Josh Howard, Nowitzki and Devean George at different points.
-It got ugly late when Jason Kidd was basically just tossing up alley-oops for George and James Singleton. The Wizards looked utterly confused on defense throughout the fourth. They either switched into terrible matchups like the time Andray Blatche wound up on Jose Barea and had Barea make a three in his face and the time when Nick Young wound up on Nowitzki, who just turned and shot right over Young. Bad technical defense did them in tonight.
-Amazing statistic: Dallas has held every single opponent below 50 percent shooting so far this season. The Wiz shot 39.5 percent tonight. That's incredible.
-The 4-21 start officially matches the 66-67 Baltimore Bullets for the worst in franchise history. Those Bullets won their 26th game to reach 5-21. These Wizards will have to do the same Tuesday night at Charlotte to avoid making the wrong kind of history.
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