Dallas Mavericks vs. Washington Wizards Final Score: Mavericks Sneak Past Wizards At Home, 105-102

After a back and forth game, the Washington Wizards were unable to win their fifth straight game at home, eventually going on to lose against the Dallas Mavericks, 105-102.

Washington started off strong right out of the gate, as Paul Pierce found himself open on the perimeter multiple times in the first quarter. Pierce, who’s been struggling mightily, needed a bounce back game tonight, and luckily for Washington, he got one. Pierce scored 17 points on 6-10 shooting, including 3 of 5 from three. He hasn’t been hitting threes consistently this season, but he’s done a good job of trailing behind John Wall in transition.

Speaking of John Wall–the Wizards had a clear advantage at the point guard position, but weren’t able to take advantage. Wall struggled to make shots in the first half and never really got into a rhythm. He missed another point blank layup, and at this point, the easy misses are starting to become a concern. Finishing around the basket has never really been an issue for Wall and seeing him miss multiple easy shots around the rim each game is something he needs to address.

But, besides his shooting, Wall managed the game pretty well. He scored 11 points, dished out 11 assists, and grabbed 6 rebounds for the game. He did, however, take his worst shot of the game in the final moments of the contest. It looked like the Wizards were going for a two-for-one opportunity, Wall took a tough three point shot early in the shot clock with Washington down three, and Randy Wittman‘s team wasn’t able to get another possession after that.

Wall’s backcourt mate, Bradley Beal, made his season debut tonight. For someone who hasn’t played competitive basketball in about two months, he certainly didn’t look rusty.

Beal scored 21 points off the bench in just 26 minutes of action. He made three of his six three point attempts, but his aggressiveness when attacking the basket was most impressive. Beal made a very tough layup over Tyson Chandler late in the fourth quarter, and didn’t appear hesitant at all.

Washington didn’t get any production from Garrett Temple, who scored just two points, but they did get some much needed shooting help off the bench. Otto Porter and Rasual Butler made four combined three point shots, but the big men struggled to keep up with Dallas’ bigs.

Nene and Marcin Gortat combined for just 11 rebounds, while Chandler and Brandan Wright combined for 22. Wright put Kevin Seraphin on about 300 posters tonight and the Wizards were simply outmatched athletically. Seraphin continues to regress and it might be time for Wittman to give DeJuan Blair a chance.

The Wizards missed a few crucial shots late in the fourth, while Dirk Nowitzki and J.J. Barea drilled a pair of deep threes to put Washington away. Tonight’s game could’ve went either way, and even though we’re done handing out moral victories, there’s no shame in losing to the Mavericks.

Washington will meet the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday afternoon.