The Dallas Mavericks made their home fans hold their breath in the fourth quarter before holding on with a late surge to snap a six-game losing skid with a 119-100 victory over the Washington Wizards on Tuesday night.
Dallas was on its way to a laugher in the second quarter with a lead that bulged to as many as 24 points and was 70-49 at halftime.
But as the Wizards got off to a 7-0 start to the third quarter, and then kept chipping away, the Mavs might have started thinking about the 26-point lead they lost earlier this season at Atlanta.
Behind hot shooting from Otto Porter Jr., and a spurt from John Wall, who finished with a game-high 24 points, Washington made it 97-91 with 7:04 to go.
Dallas called timeout and then went on a 15-5 run spurred by Dennis Smith Jr. to put the game on ice.
The Wizards, coming off just their second win of the season Sunday against New York, came out sleepwalking, allowing Dallas to score 35 points in each of the first and second quarters, and were outscored by 31 points combined in the first half from behind the arc and at the free throw line.
Mavs guard Wesley Matthews fueled the early lead with 14 of his 22 points coming in the first half, including going 5 of 5 from the 3-point arc before finishing 5 of 8.
Smith emerged late with several important hustle plays that produced baskets for himself or a teammate. He finished with 19 points, seven assists and four rebounds.
Rookie Luka Doncic led Dallas in scoring with 23 points, plus six rebounds and three assists, and Harrison Barnes finished with 19 points. Forward Dorian Finney-Smith provided 11 points, including three 3-pointers, off the bench.
Porter, who hit 5 of 6 from beyond the arc, and Bradley Beal, just 7 of 17 from the floor, each had 19 points. Those two and Wall were the only Wizards to score in double figures.
—Field Level Media