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Wizards at Mavericks final score: Washington blow late lead, loses 112-104

Washington blows double-digit lead en route to crushing loss.

Just four days after congregating on a trade that sent Daniel Gafford from the Washington Wizards to the Dallas Mavericks for Richaun Holmes and draft compensation, the sides faced off in the Lone Star State Monday night.

The Wizards looked to avoid seven straight losses, while Dallas entered the contest playing some of its best basketball of the season.

The Wizards fell to the Mavericks, 112-104.

First Quarter

Former Wizard Daniel Gafford wasted no time going to work, knocking down a hook-shot to begin the contest. Gaff was big down low all quarter, notching five rebounds in the game’s opening minutes.

Kyle Kuzma kept the Wizards attached, sinking a pair of baskets early on. Luka Doncic then began dicing up the poor Wizards defense, reading their pick & roll coverage like a book. Dallas led at the end of the first quarter, 26-22.

Second Quarter

Washington’s bench unit, led by Delon Wright and Landry Shamet, came out firing. Wright got the run started with back-to-back layups, while Shamet forced a Jason Kidd timeout with his first three of the game. Dallas’ duo of Kyrie Irving and Luka Doncic answered this 7-0 Wizards run with a spurt of their own, exchanging buckets to tie things up at 31-31.

Coach Brian Keefe elected for a rare 2-3 zone midway through the frame, as Dallas was toying with Washington’s man coverage. The zone proved worthy of stopping Doncic, as the Wizards ended the quarter strong.

Tyus Jones’ double-digit assist half paved the way for Washington to enter the break in front, 58-51.

Third Quarter

Kyrie continued his strong showing by knocking down a few layups despite solid coverage from Bilal Coulibaly. The Wizards, however, responded with a few big runs. Deni Avdija and Corey Kispert once again combined forces to put the Wizards in firm control.

The bench came in and maintained the lead. Washington entered the final frame with a 10-point advantage, 88-78.

Fourth Quarter

Daniel Gafford’s 16 points and 16 rebounds through three quarters kept Dallas alive, and that energy remained alive as the fourth quarter kicked off. Dallas rattled off a few buckets in a row, but Deni Avdija answered back with a strong finish through contact.

Despite a rough shooting night, Bilal Coulibaly contributed in other phases of the game, tallying a ton of rebounds and blocking a shot that almost reached the first row of seats.

Down the stretch, Dallas’ stars took over while the Wizards’ stars disappeared. Poole was benched for the final minutes after shooting an abysmal 1-12. Kuzma turned into a chucker late in the game, forcing up bad shots en route to an epic collapse.

The Mavs run proved too much to overcome, outscoring the Wizards by 18 in the final quarter to steal the win.

The Wizards fell to 9-44 on the season with one game to go before the All-Star break.

Stats

Avdija: 25 pts, 7 reb

Kuzma: 23 pts, 8 reb

Jones: 14 pts, 16 ast (career-high)

Doncic: 26 pts, 11 reb, 15 ast

Irving: 26 pts, 7 reb

Gafford: 16 pts, 17 reb