How it happened: The Mavericks managed to avoid hitting a new low, surviving a comeback bid by the Wizards and snapping a three-game losing streak.
The Mavs made it much more interesting than it should have been against a miserable team playing the butt end of a back-to-back. The Wizards pulled within three points with a 15-0 run in the fourth quarter. Washington never got any closer, missing an open 3-pointer that would have tied it up with a little more than a minute remaining.
The Mavs didn’t have a field goal in the final frame until Elton Brand’s tip-in with 6:45 remaining. Meanwhile, they were getting lit up by little-used reserve swingman Cartier Martin, who had seven points all season until he scorched the Mavs for 14 in the fourth. Reserve power forward Kevin Seraphin also had 14 points in the quarter, going 7-of-7 from the floor.
Washington's Jordan Crawford had 17 of his 21 points in the second half to give the Wizards a chance to pull off the comeback.
Mavs shooting guard O.J. Mayo scored nine of his game-high 25 points in the fourth to help the Mavs escape with the win.
Center Chris Kaman rewarded coach Rick Carlisle’s decision to start him with a 23-point, eight-rebound performance. The 7-footer, who had 22 points and eight rebounds in a win over the Raptors in his only other start of the season, was 10-of-12 from the floor.
Brand added 11 points and 12 rebounds for his first double-double in a Dallas uniform.
What it means: The Mavs’ losing streak ended after three games, pushing their record above .500 to 5-4. With the Detroit Pistons finally registering a victory, the 0-7 Wizards are the league’s only winless team.
Play of the game: Mayo finished a spinning drive down the middle of the lane with a pretty dish to Kaman for a dunk. Mayo delivered a lefty, wraparound pass a couple of feet from the bucket for Kaman, whose defender had to help after Mayo beat his man off the dribble. The bucket late in the second quarter extended the Mavs’ lead to 21 points.
Stat of the night: The 40 points in the second quarter marked a season high for any quarter by the Mavs this season. The previous high was 37 in the second quarter of the Halloween loss to the Utah Jazz. The Mavs shot 15-of-22 from the floor in the second against the Wizards.