Mavericks Go for Seventh Straight Win
Posted Nov 21 2006 10:31AM
NBA.com Daily Confidential
After breaking out of his shooting slump, Gilbert Arenas now focuses on trying to end the Washington Wizards' road woes.
The Wizards look to avoid opening the season with five straight road losses for the first time in 20 years when they visit the Dallas Mavericks at American Airlines Center on Tuesday.
Arenas scored a season-high 45 points on 14-of-22 shooting in Washington's 111-99 victory over Cleveland on Saturday. The win ended both a three-game losing streak for the Wizards and a string of dismal shooting performances from Arenas.
Arenas shot 32.1 percent and was held under 30 points in his last four games - his longest stretch of games scoring fewer than 30 since March 2005 - before Saturday's breakout.
The All-Star guard connected on 7 of 11 3-pointers against the Cavaliers, and scored 18 of 20 Washington points during one stretch.
Arenas topped 40 for the third time this season - all of those games have been at home.
``This was a must-win because we're going back on the road,'' Arenas said. ``Hopefully, our confidence can push us forward and we'll see what happens on this trip.''
Washington is 4-1 at home, averaging 112.2 points in those games, but is averaging just 92.5 points in its four road losses.
The Wizards haven't opened a season with an 0-5 road mark since 1986, when they started a franchise-worst 0-7 away from home.
``We just can't get caught up about having a phobia about playing on the road,'' Washington coach Eddie Jordan said. ``Frankly, we have to make a big shot here and there. We're competitive enough. We carry out the game plan well enough.''
Arenas has contributed to the Wizards' road struggles, as he is averaging just 18.3 points on 28.2 percent shooting there.
He had one of his worst shooting nights of his career the last time the Wizards visited Dallas. Arenas scored 12 points on 4-of-22 shooting in Washington's 103-97 loss at American Airlines Center on Feb. 15.
The Wizards have lost four straight games at Dallas (6-4), and eight of their last nine against the Mavericks overall.
The Mavericks defeated Charlotte 93-85 on Monday, their sixth straight win after starting the season 0-4. Dallas shot just 39 percent, but managed to get five straight points from Jason Terry down the stretch to put the game away.
``We can turn a bad night into a good night,'' Mavericks coach Avery Johnson said. ``We had some bad nights early in the season, but we lost. It's good to have some bad nights - and win these games. We very well have some stuff to work on.''
Dirk Nowitzki had 24 points and 14 rebounds on Monday to record his fifth straight double-double. Nowitzki is averaging 27.7 points and 11.7 rebounds in his last three home games against the Wizards.
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