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Wizards fight back in the fourth, but fall to the Mavericks 107-101

Jordan Crawford and Cartier Martin led a late Wizards comeback Wednesday night, but it wasn't enough to beat the Mavericks in Dallas.

Ronald Martinez

The Wizards weren't great or even good, but they weren't totally awful! That's the silver lining from the Wizards seventh straight loss, this time to the Mavericks. They dug themselves into a 22-point hole midway through the third quarter and it looked like they were headed for another humiliating reality check. (See: Bobcats game). Things hit rock bottom when A.J. Price went down hard and hobbled back to the locker room.

But then things got better! Price appeared to have an ankle injury, but looks he should be okay. As for the rest of the team, sparked by Jordan Crawford's attacking--he had 17 of his 21 points in the second half--and Cartier Martin's shooting, the Wizards pulled within three late in the fourth quarter. The Mavericks then extended the lead back to eight with about five minutes left. But the Wizards wouldn't go away.

Kevin Seraphin had 14 of his 16 points in the fourth quarter, and the combination of Seraphin and Cartier Martin were able to bring the Wizards back within three with 90 seconds left. Of course, the Wizards are still the Wizards, so that led to this sequence:

  • Elton Brand misses 14-foot jumper
  • O.J. Mayo offensive rebound
  • Vince Carter misses 24-foot jumper
  • Elton Brand offensive rebound
  • Darren Collison bad pass (Kevin Seraphin steals)
  • Jannero Pargo misses 25-foot three point jumper

Pargo's miss (with 54 seconds left) came early in the shot clock with a hand in his face, and that was pretty much it for the Wizards comeback. O.J. Mayo was fouled, made one, missed the second, and the Wizards couldn't get the rebound, because of course they couldn't. The game ended with the Wizards down three again, trying to foul, only to leave Chris Kaman wide-open in front of the rim. Kaman then stood at the rim waiting for Jan Vesley to arrive, and converted the lay-up plus the foul when Vesley finally got there to foul him.

Does that last sequence make sense in writing?

In any case, it was a very Wizards way to end it.

Big picture? The loss could have been much, much worse. The team still can't get defensive rebounds, still relies on Jordan Crawford to carry the offense, and still makes all kinds of stupid mistakes. But for the first two-and-a-half quarters, they looked about as lifeless as a basketball team can look, and that changed by the end, when Seraphin looked like the player we've all been excited about, and everyone remembered why we've always loved Cariter Martin.

They still lost, and they're now the only winless team left in the NBA, but there are silver linings, and it won't be this bad forever. In the meantime, as Steve Buckhantz said afterward, "You cannot fault the effort."

Questions now:

  • Why wasn't Kevin Seraphin getting the ball before the fourth quarter?
  • Should we just start Cartier Martin and see what happens? At least he's fun to root for?
  • Is this what it felt like for Bobcats fans?
  • Bradley Beal was 3-14 and wasn't on the court for any of the fourth quarter run. Actually, let's just agree to not to talk about this tonight.
  • Sure would be nice to have Jae Crowder out there, huh?
  • Is Jordan Crawford technically the Wizards' best player?
  • Do you think Seraphin and Roddy Beaubois are going to hang out after the game? If so, we better get some good Instagrams.

We'll have more in the morning, but feel free to vent in the comments and/or praise Cartier Martin in the comments. Because really, Cartier Martin is the greatest.