Nowitzki, Mavs welcome Wizards to Big D
(SportsNetwork.com) - Whether Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki is Hall of Fame worthy remains debatable, but he is on the verge of passing a legend on the NBA's all-time scoring list.
Nowitzki and the Mavericks are back in Big D for a short amount of time and will welcome the Washington Wizards to town Tuesday at American Airlines Center. Nowitzki, the 2011 NBA Finals MVP, needs 15 points to pass Hall of Famer Jerry West (25,192) for 16th on the all-time scoring list. He got to this point after scoring 16 in Saturday's 91-83 win at Milwaukee.
Former Buck Monta Ellis scored a team-best 18 points and Shawn Marion added 14 and 10 rebounds for the Mavericks, who ended a two-game slide and won for the third time in five tries. The Mavs closed the first quarter on a 27-8 run and led 34-19 after 12 minutes of play. They held Milwaukee to 19 points (23-19) in the fourth quarter.
"They made their run, but we kept our composure and made plays down the stretch when we needed to," said Ellis, who leads Dallas with 23.0 ppg and has scored 20 or more points five times this season..
Vince Carter had 13 points off the bench.
The Mavericks, who went 1-2 on a recent trip and are in the midst of playing five of six games on the road, are averaging 107.0 points per game this season and shooting 40.4 percent from 3-point range. When Dallas scores 30 or more points in the first this season, it is 4-1. So look for the Mavs to get off to another hot start versus the Wizards.
The Mavericks have used the same starting lineup (Marion, Nowitzki, Samuel Dalembert, Ellis and Jose Calderon) in each of their first seven games.
After hosting the Wizards, Dallas, which is 3-0 at home and unbeaten in the past four as the host dating back to 2012-13, will hit the road again for a Florida tour against Miami and Orlando.
Washington had a brief two-game winning streak cut short with Sunday's 106-105 overtime loss at Oklahoma City in the first leg of a three-game western jaunt.
Bradley Beal pumped in a career-high 34 points on 13-of-23 shooting, while Trevor Ariza and Nene scored 15 and 14 points, respectively. Beal knocked down 6-of-8 3-pointers and currently leads the team in scoring with 21.0 points per game. Marcin Gortat and Al Harrington both scored 11 points and John Wall ended with 10 for the Wizards, who blew a 12-point lead in the fourth quarter.
Wall missed a potential go-ahead layup at the overtime buzzer. The Thunder needed a 14-4 run at the end of regulation to force an extra period.
"I give Oklahoma City credit for coming back. They made shots. All we needed to do at the end of regulation was make one shot or a couple of free throws and the game would have been over," Wizards coach Randy Wittman said. "We played our tails off but came up short."
The Wizards were outrebounded by a 58-41 count, but have had at least five players score in double-figures in their last five games. Nene was one of those players and was ejected late in the game for getting into a minor scuffle with OKC guard Russell Westbrook.
Washington lost both matchups with Dallas a season ago and is winless in the last six games in this series. The Mavericks are 14-4 in the previous 18 meetings with the Wizards, losers in three straight and 10 of the last 13 trips to Big D.
The two teams will meet again on Jan. 1 at Verizon Center.
11/12 10:49:10 ET