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Wizards begin three-game road trip in Dallas
The Wizards will begin a three-game road trip against the Mavericks on Tuesday night. Fresh off a win against the Knicks on Sunday, the Wizards (2-7) come into Dallas against a Mavericks (2-7) team that has lost six games in a row.
American Airlines Center | 8:30 p.m. | NBC Sports Washington, NBA TV | 1500 AM
Wizards: G – John Wall, G – Bradley Beal, F – Otto Porter Jr., F – Markieff Morris, C – Dwight Howard
Mavericks: G – Luka Doncic, G – Dennis Smith Jr., G – Wesley Matthews, F – Harrison Barnes, C – DeAndre Jordan
Mavericks: Devin Harris (left hamstring strain – out), Dirk Nowitzki (left ankle surgery – out)
Building off Sunday’s win
The Wizards held the Knicks under 100 points on Sunday with strong defense to start the game and down the stretch. Washington held New York to only 17 points in both the first and fourth quarters. After the Knicks tied the game at 86-86 with 9:13 left, the Wizards went on a 16-2 run and held the Knicks to 1-of-12 shooting during that 5:34 stretch. Even though the Wizards led for the most of the game, the way they started and finished the game defensively won the game.
Washington forced 20 turnovers against the Knicks, and they’ll have another opportunity to turn defense into offense against the Mavericks. Dallas averages 16.8 turnovers per game, 28th in the NBA. Rookie Luka Doncic and second-year guard Dennis Smith Jr. are both young and susceptible to turnovers (7.4 per game combined), but the Mavericks have plenty of veterans in Wesley Matthews, Harrison Barnes, DeAndre Jordan, and J.J. Barea who can beat you on any given night.
Porter good to go
After missing Sunday’s game with left big toe contusion, Otto Porter Jr. practiced in full the past two days and will play on Tuesday. Porter has struggled shooting so far this season, but he’s a much better shooter than the numbers suggest. Despite his poor shooting numbers, the Wizards have been 12.9 points per 100 possessions better with Porter on the court (tied for second best on the team with John Wall to Dwight Howard). Kelly Oubre Jr. filled in well for Porter against the Knicks, but this will be only the Wizards second game with their entire roster healthy.
Recent history against Dallas
The Mavericks have won 15 of the last 16 matchups against the Wizards, including 13 of the last 16 games in Dallas. The numbers speak for themselves, but the Mavericks have lost six in a row and much of the Mavericks’ success has been in D.C. (nine straight wins). Dwight Howard averaged 16.5 points and 17.5 rebounds per game in two games against the Mavericks last season, while Harrison Barnes scored 25.5 points and grabbed 9.5 rebounds per game against the Wizards last season.