NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, January 1st (All times Eastern)
Dallas Mavericks (18-13) at Washington Wizards (14-14), 6 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - Something will have to give on New Year's Day as both the Dallas Mavericks and Washington Wizards have two-game winning streaks heading into the showdown in D.C.
The Wizards have won five of their last six and can become the fourth Eastern Conference team with a winning record. They swept a home-and-home series with the Detroit Pistons on Saturday and Monday.
The second matchup with Detroit occurred in The Palace of Auburn Hills and Washington walked off with a 106-99 victory. Washington won the opener 106-82 at home on Saturday to snap a seven-game losing streak in the series.
John Wall had 29 points, nine of which came in a big fourth quarter when the Wizards outscored the Pistons 28-12. Trevor Ariza registered a double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds.
Bradley Beal scored 13 points, while Nene chipped in 11 and Martell Webster added 10 points.
"Any given night any guy on this team can have a big game," said Wall. "Tonight was my night, but everyone hustled out there and this was a team effort."
The Wiz have two more at home before hitting the road for three straight.
The Mavs come into the nation's capital not just winners of two straight, but victors in three of their last four. They've won three consecutive road contests, including a 100-98 victory Monday night in Minnesota over the Timberwolves.
The win came with its fair share of controversy.
Ricky Rubio was fouled by Jose Calderon with three seconds left with the Mavs having a foul to give. On the ensuing inbounds play, Kevin Love received the ball in the corner, attempted a game-winning 3, but Marion clearly hacked his arm in the act as the ball flew into the air and the buzzer sounded.
The referees' whistles were silent as Love stood on the baseline in disbelief and Dallas held on.
"I thought it was pretty obvious, just look at the replay," Love said of the final play.
The NBA agreed with Love and the Wolves and issued a statement saying a foul occurred and Love should've gotten two free-throws, not three as his foot was on the line.
Either way, Dallas got the duke.
Marion scored a season-high 32 points.
"I was just taking what was given to me," said Marion. "My teammates were finding me in great spots and we were just looking for each other more and it opened the game on both ends of the floor."
Dirk Nowitzki finished with 16 points, while Brandan Wright scored 14 points off the bench for Dallas. Monta Ellis handed out 10 assists.
The Mavericks have won seven straight against the Wiz and four in a row in Washington.
01/01 10:20:06 ET