How it happened: The Mavericks were fortunate to face the team with the NBA’s worst record.
The Mavs were awful for most of the first half, when the Wizards scored 17 second-chance points and led by as many as 14, but were able to overcome the slow start to cruise to their first win since Dec. 18.
The Mavs got to within striking distance with a 7-0 run to close with the first half, capped by Darren Collison’s floater at the buzzer. They took their first lead since the game’s opening possession with a 9-0 run early in the second half.
Dallas completely dominated the third quarter, outscoring the Wizards by a 35-19 margin. Collison, who finished with 15 points and eight assists, led the charge with eight points and three assists in the frame.
Vince Carter led six Mavs in double figures with 23 points on 9-of-14 shooting. O.J. Mayo, who had been in a miserable slump during the Mavs’ losing streak, had 15 points on 6-of-10 shooting, five assists and no turnovers. Shawn Marion, the spark of the key third-quarter run, contributed an 11-point, 13-rebound double-double.
What it means: The Mavs avoided hitting rock bottom by beating the 4-25 Wizards, who have lost 10 of their last 11 games. The win snapped the Mavs’ six-game losing streak, which matched the franchise’s longest since Mark Cuban bought the team.
Play of the game: Carter blew by Martell Webster for a tomahawk dunk in traffic on the first possession of the game. The vintage Vinsanity moment didn’t exactly set the tone for the Mavs -- who didn’t lead again until the third quarter -- but it got Carter going. Carter, who was two points shy of his season high, also drove the lane for a dagger dunk that was his last bucket.
Stat of the night: Dirk Nowitzki scored 11 points on 5-of-7 shooting. Dirk hitting double digits usually wouldn’t be a big deal, but it’s the first time it happened this season. He scored in single digits in his first four games of the season, matching his single-digit scoring outputs from the previous two seasons combined.