They won the first half when both teams shot poorly. They won the second half when both teams shot…
First Impressions: Mavs Over Wiz
The Dallas Mavericks registered a fourth straight win on the road by beating the Wizards for the eighth straight time in this 87-78 decision to open a New Year. They did it despite some offensive struggles -- and a three-point halftime deficit that was the result of a second quartter featuring Dallas missing 12 of its final 13 shots, going 6-of-22 overall and getting Jose, Vince and Dirk combining for 1-of-13.
Dirk, in fact, wouldn't be quite right all game as he rolled his ankle to begin the night and would finish with a season-low nine points.
"I was an expensive decoy,'' said the max-money future Hall-of-Famer.
But Monta Ellis scored 23 points to help the offense -- coach Rick Carlisle said this was Ellis' best overall floor game as a Mav -- and this offense needed that help. The 87 is a season-low in points; shooting 38.5 percent on the road and winning is a rarity in franchise history.
''It was an ugly game,'' Nowitzki said.
"It was a beautiful game,'' Carlisle said.
The Mavs don't seem overly concerned about Dirk's well-=being (they don't practice today and he joked casually that this is ''probably the 200th time in my career'' that he's rolled an ankle. Their mood is no doubt buoyed by once again being able to win a game with defense. Dallas held Washington scoreless for a four-minute span late in the game. ... and while the Mavs shot that 38.5 percent, they held the Wiz to 37.5 percent.
Defense? Dallas? Again? On this sweep of a road trip, the Mavs held opponents (Chicago, Minnesota, Washington) to 23 points or fewer in 10 of the 12 quarters. During this time, they've allowed foes an average of just 86.3 points per, as our man Mark Followill notes, the best three-game stretch of the Mavs' season.
''It was such a competitive game,'' Carlisle said, "whoever won was going to be the survivor.''
That would be the Mavs, who thanks to this 3-0 roadie (the franchise's first such sweep since March 2011) now sit six games over .500 (for the first time since the end of 2011-12). They come now home for meetings with the Clippers, Knicks and Lakers. ... and a chance to put the valley behind them and start building a peak.
Who Deserves "The Dirkie''? Vote here!
DallasBasketball.com Recommended Stories
Week 8: Fantasy Football Player Upgrades
Every week, Fantasy Football Expert Mark Morales-Smith provides the best Fantasy options to target because they are on the rise in the short or long term. Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo (pictured above)…Read More
Who's Hot? Week 8: Trevone, Pitt D, Kirby
The stud teams, players, coaches and trends from Week 8Read More
5 Ways to a Healthier Tailgate
Tailgating is one of America’s favorite pastimes, but can you truly have a memorable experience at a tailgating event without stuffing your face? Believe it or not, the answer is yes! You don’t have…Read More
Seeing the Light: A Matter of Life or Death.
Gary Howard died in the early morning darkness while walking to set up his portable treestand. It was late October,a full hour before sunrise. Dressed in camo, carrying his bow with the stand strapped…Read More
Deer Attacks Man!
Man attempts to rope deer and immediately regrets it.Read More