Sports

Wizards Lose to Mavericks, Drop Third Straight at Home

The Dallas Mavericks came to the nation’s capital Tuesday with just one victory on the season. They left with a second, surprising the Washington Wizards 113-99 behind Harrison Barnes’ game-high 31 points.

Wizards head coach Scott Brooks harped on his team’s defensive effort — or lack thereof — afterward.

“Our start defensively, it has not been good the last couple of games,” he said. “We gave up 36 [first-quarter points] tonight. We keep talking about being a defensive team. We have to be an action-defending team and right now we are not doing that.”

The loss was the Wizards’ third in a row at home. In the previous two home games, Washington (5-5) allowed the Phoenix Suns to score 116 on Nov. 1, then gave up 130 points Friday to the Cleveland Cavaliers and LeBron James, who scored 57 points.

Dallas (2-10), which ranks among the league’s worst with just three blocks per game, had eight rejections Tuesday. The Mavericks, in the NBA’s bottom five at 46 rebounds per game, grabbed 53 against the Wizards.

The Wizards managed just 39 rebounds — 14 below the team average — with backup point guard Tim Frazier and forward Kelly Oubre Jr. leading the way with seven apiece.

“It’s pretty much with the same with all our loses,” said Bradley Beal, who scored 23 points on 8-for-20 shooting. “We didn’t play hard. They outworked us. We developed a bad habit in not coming out with energy. We didn’t defend. You don’t win if you don’t defend.”

The Wizards also had trouble containing Mavericks rookie Dennis Smith Jr., who flirted with a triple-double with 22 points, eight rebounds and eight assists.

“Dennis Smith was a great basketball player tonight,” said Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle. “He was great in all areas. He demonstrated aggression, poise, smarts and leadership. It’s great to see.”

The Wizards host the Los Angeles Lakers (5-5) on Thursday. The Lakers defeated Washington 102-99 in overtime in their first meeting in Los Angeles on Oct. 25.

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William J. Ford – Washington Informer Staff Writer

I decided I wanted to become a better writer while attending Bowie State University and figured that writing for the school newspaper would help. I’m not sure how much it helped, but I enjoyed it so much I decided to keep on doing it, which I still thoroughly enjoy 20 years later. If I weren’t a journalist, I would coach youth basketball. Actually, I still play basketball, or at least try to play, once a week. My kryptonite is peanut butter. What makes me happy – seeing my son and two godchildren grow up. On the other hand, a bad call made by an official during a football or basketball game makes me throw up my hands and scream. Favorite foods include pancakes and scrambled eggs which I could eat 24-7. The strangest thing that’s ever happened to me, or more accurately the most painful, was when I was hit by a car on Lancaster Avenue in Philadelphia. If I had the power or money to change the world, I’d make sure everyone had three meals a day. And while I don’t have a motto or favorite quote, I continue to laugh which keeps me from driving myself crazy. You can reach me several ways: Twitter @jabariwill, Instagram will_iam.ford2281 or e-mail, wford@washingtoninformer.com

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