NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, February 26th (All times eastern)
Dallas Mavericks (41-16) at Washington Wizards (15-42), 8 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Dallas Mavericks shoot for their fifth straight win when they begin a three-game road trip Saturday night against the Washington Wizards at the Verizon Center.
The Mavs will also visit the Raptors and Sixers, and are 19-8 away from Big D this season. Dallas, which is seeded No. 2 in the Western Conference, posted its 14th victory in 15 tries with Wednesday's 118-99 triumph versus the Utah Jazz at American Airlines Center.
Dirk Nowitzki had 23 points and seven rebounds, Peja Stojakovic added 18 points and Shawn Marion ended with 16 points and six boards in a reserve role for Dallas.
"This is a very unselfish team and not only that, you are playing with guys who really know how to play basketball," Stojakovic said. "Sometimes you don't even have to call a play on the offensive end, you just put the ball in Jason's hands and with ball movement and player movement you get all the good shots."
Jason Terry and Jose Barea netted 13 points apiece off the bench, while backup center Brendan Haywood contributed 12 points and 10 boards. Dallas is averaging 106.8 ppg over the last 15 contests, and has scored 100-plus points in 13 of its last 14 games. It is 30-2 when reaching the century mark.
In other team news, veteran guard Jason Kidd needs nine more steals to pass Gary Payton (2,445) for third place on the all-time steals list.
Meanwhile, the struggling Wizards will commence a four-game homestand Saturday versus the Mavs, Bulls, Warriors and Timberwolves, and are a decent 14-14 as the host as opposed to their disgraceful 1-28 road ledger.
Washington suffered its fourth consecutive loss last night, dropping a 121-113 decision to the star-studded Miami Heat in south Florida. Dwyane Wade led the victors with a game-best 41 points and LeBron James scored 25. The Wizards were led by Nick Young's 38 points, while JaVale McGee contributed 18 points and 17 rebounds in a losing effort.
"We are a team that is rebuilding," Washington head coach Flip Saunders said. "You really don't want to take moral victories, but how we played recently, we have to build on things. If we play this hard against other teams, we are going to win. The Heat are one of the top two or three teams in the league."
Wizards newcomer Mike Bibby missed all four of his shots and dished out four assists in his debut. Bibby was acquired from Atlanta before the NBA's trade deadline on Thursday. Rookie John Wall had 24 points and 12 assists, while Andray Blatche missed the game with a hip strain and is questionable tonight.
Wall leads all Eastern Conference rookies in scoring and assists this month, and is averaging more than 20 points in his last five games (21.2 ppg). The Wizards are 2-13 in their past 15 contests.
Dallas defeated Washington, 102-92, on Jan. 31 at American Airlines Center thanks to 24 points from Nowitzki and an additional 18 points and 18 rebounds from Tyson Chandler. The Mavs have won 13 of the last 18 meetings with the Wizards, losers in nine of the past 12 bouts as the host in this series.
02/26 10:53:30 ET