Friday, December 1, 2023
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NBA Preview: Dallas Mavericks (8-3) at Washington Wizards (2-8)

The Dallas Mavericks aim to rebound from their worst loss of the season when they visit the Washington Wizards on Wednesday.

The Mavericks posted their eighth win in 10 outings with a 136-124 victory over New Orleans on Sunday before the Pelicans returned the favor two nights later with a 131-110 decision.

Kyrie Irving, who scored 35 points Sunday, and Tim Hardaway Jr. led the Mavericks with 17 points in the rematch. Luka Doncic made just 5 of 16 shots from the floor and finished with 16 points on Tuesday.

Turnovers ultimately doomed Dallas, which committed 20 on Tuesday. The Pelicans sported a 46-12 advantage in fastbreak points and 60-40 edge in points in the paint in their win.

Though the Mavericks admittedly weren’t too thrilled with competing on the “special” designed courts for the NBA in-season tournament, they said they weren’t offering that as an excuse.

Unfortunately for Washington, it knows all about falling short this season. The Wizards fell for the third time in a row and seventh time in eight games after squandering a 23-point lead and Kyle Kuzma’s season-high, 34-point performance in a 111-107 setback at the Toronto Raptors on Monday.

The Wizards missed their last eight shots from the floor.

Kuzma erupted for 36 points in the Wizards’ 113-105 victory over Dallas on Nov. 10, 2022. He churned in 30 more in Washington’s 127-126 win over the Mavericks on Jan. 24.

Daniel Gafford contributed 14 points, nine rebounds and three blocks on Monday and Jordan Poole added 14 points and six assists.

Kuzma (24.1 ppg), Poole (16.2), Deni Avdija (12.5) and Corey Kispert (10.2) are averaging double-digit scoring this season, and rookie Bilal Coulibaly has recorded double-digit totals in three straight games and four of his last five.

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