Doncic, Smith lead Mavs past Wizards to stop skid
DALLAS — Luka Doncic scored 23 points and Dennis Smith Jr. made three key plays down the stretch as the Dallas Mavericks ended a six-game losing streak by beating the Washington Wizards 119-100 Tuesday night.
It was the Mavericks’ 16th win in their last 17 meetings with the Wizards. Wesley Matthews added 22 points for Dallas, and Harrison Barnes had 19 points and 13 rebounds.
John Wall led the Wizards with 24 points. Otto Porter Jr. and Bradley Beal had 19 each, but Beal was 1 for 9 on 3-point attempts.
Washington trailed by 24 in the first half and 21 at halftime, but forced 11 Dallas turnovers in the second half and climbed back into the game behind its top three players.
The Wizards were within six when Smith scooted past Dwight Howard to grab an offensive rebound and fed a cutting DeAndre Jordan for a dunk that put the Mavs up 101-93 with 5:33 left.
Just 30 seconds later, the pair collaborated again on a pretty alley-oop, then Smith stole the ball from Beal and got it to Barnes for a three-point play and a 13-point lead. Smith finished with 19 points and seven assists.
The Mavericks won their third game considerably sooner than the previous two seasons — they started 2-14 last year and 2-13 in 2016-17.
The Wizards took their only lead at 13-12 on Porter’s 3-pointer with 5:48 left in the first quarter. Doncic answered by scoring eight points in a 12-2 run that put the Mavericks up by nine. They led 35-24 after one.
In the second quarter, Dallas made nine of 14 3s, including four by Matthews and a rainbow by Doncic just before the halftime buzzer to give the Mavericks a 70-49 lead at the break. It was the Mavs’ highest first-half output of the young season.
Washington started the third quarter strong, with Beal scoring seven points in a 12-4 run to pull within 13. Porter had three 3s in the quarter, the last in the final seconds to bring the Wizards within single digits for the first time since the first period.
Wizards: Coach Scott Brooks reminisced about Dallas counterpart Rick Carlisle, his roommate in the CBA in 1987. “He doesn’t get a lot of credit for being a great player,” Brooks said. When pressed by skeptical reporters about his claim, Brooks drew laughter by arguing that he would recognize greatness because: “I WAS a great player. I was better than a lot of guys that you’re asking me about and a lot of guys that tried to make it,” he said.
Mavericks: Devin Harris missed his ninth straight game with a left hamstring strain. Carlisle said Harris wouldn’t play before the weekend at the earliest. … Jordan had 12 rebounds and has been in double digits in all 10 games with the Mavs.
Wizards: At Orlando on Friday, the middle game of a three-game road trip.
Mavericks: At Utah on Wednesday. Dallas is 0-5 on the road this season.
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