The Dallas Mavericks came into Friday night with all kinds of playoff implications still on the line. They’re in a battle with the Golden State Warriors for the third seed in the West while trying to stave off any threats to take away their home-court advantage in the first-round.
The Washington Wizards, meanwhile, did not have much to play for. They’ve officially been eliminated from play-in tournament contention and are sitting Kyle Kuzma with knee tendinitis.
However, the game played out like the exact opposite. Washington came out with their hair on fire for 41 points in the first quarter as Kentavious Caldwell-Pope led the way with 12 points in the opening period. But that was only a sign of things to come for both Washington and KCP.
The veteran guard poured in 35 points on the night, just three shy of his career high, going 13-for-19 from the field with six threes. His hot shooting padded the Wizards’ lead in the first half, going up by as much as 18 points before going into the break with a 67-53 lead.
That lead only swelled further in the second half as Washington went up by as much as 34 points, never trailing for a single second throughout the entire game.
The Mavericks entered the contest as the best team in the NBA at limiting three-point makes from their opponent. But Washington bucked that trend at least for one night, going 17-for-33 from distance for a 51.5% clip.
Kristaps Porzingis had himself a solid outing against his former club as well. He stuffed the stat sheet with 24 points, nine rebounds, four assists, two steals, and a block.
KP clearly outperformed the former Wizards he was traded for. Spencer Dinwiddie had just eight points with three turnovers while Davis Bertans went scoreless in 10 minutes of action.
The home win against Dallas is Washington’s 21st of the season, guaranteeing a positive record in the friendly confines of Capital One Arena.
The Wizards have now won four of their last five games as they head to Boston to face a resurgent Celtics squad on Sunday.