Rookie Luka Doncic led Dallas with 23 points on Tuesday evening as the Mavericks took down the Wizards, 119-100. #WizardsKiller Wesley Matthews added 22 points including going 5-of-8 from three-point range for the Mavericks as they broke their six game losing skid.
John Wall notched his first double-double of the season with 24 points and 10 assists while Otto Porter and Bradley Beal chipped in with 19 points each but outside of that trio, everyone else on Washington was more or less a non-factor this evening.
Washington’s poor defense reared it’s ugly head tonight early on as Dallas scored 35 in the first quarter and the Wizards quickly found themselves in a 35-24 hole. The floodgates opened in the second quarter behind the hot shooting of Wesley Matthews and once again, the Wizards let another team drop 70 on them in a half as they trailed 70-49 at halftime.
Washington wouldn’t go down without a fight though. After outscoring Dallas 29-17 in the third quarter, they found themselves within striking distance. The Wizards were able to cut the Mavericks’ lead to six on two different occasions midway in the fourth period. But one poor defensive rotation here followed by some careless turnovers there allowed Dallas to regain control to make this look more like a blowout than a single-digit game.
Washington is now 2-8 on the season, their second such start in three years. Although, this 2-8 feels a whole lot different than the 2016-2017 2-8 start to the season when Wall was still recovering from knee surgery.
A poor first half defensively is too much to overcome
Don’t get it twisted; Sunday’s defensive effort against the Knicks was an anomaly, not a team looking to turn the corner. Washington turned in yet another poor defensive effort and it all started in the first half as the Mavericks hung 70 on the Wizards by halftime.
Dallas, a team who’s trailed after every first quarter during their six-game losing streak was shown no resistance as they were able to get whatever shots they wanted in the first period. Wes Matthews hit back-to-back three-pointers to start the second quarter and that’s when the onslaught began.
Yet again, the Wizards brought no energy on the defensive end, weren’t communicating as Mavericks players found themselves wide open under the rim on several occasions, and made no effort to get back in transition. Dallas connected on 13 of their 23 three-pointers (56.5 percent) and shot 50 percent from the field in the first half as the whooping was officially on.
It took a ton of energy for Washington to cut the deficit to six midway through the fourth quarter. But at the end of the night, they just didn’t have enough to completely dig themselves out of a 24-point hole.
The Wizards continue to let it fly from 3, they just won’t go in
Otto Porter was a near-perfect 5-of-6 from three-point range tonight. But outside of him, the Wizards combined to go just 6-of-29 (21 percent) from distance. Washington has committed themselves to taking more three-point shots this season, the issue is, they aren’t falling.
Markieff Morris missed all four of his attempts, Kelly Oubre missed all five. John Wall was just 2-of-6 from three-point range and Bradley Beal had another poor outing from distance as he only connected on one of his nine three-point attempts.
John Wall turns in his first double-double of the season
Tonight was long overdue (statistically at least) as John Wall notched his first double-double of the season with 24 points and 10 assists. Wall has been looking to score more this season and as a result, his passing, the bread and butter of his game, has taken a hit.
It took Wall 20 shots to get to 24 points which isn’t going to excite any analytics department, however, it looked like he made more of an effort to get others involved. Washington has a ton of issues that need to get fixed if things are going to turn around and Wall getting his teammates more involved is very high up on that list.