Game 63 Recap: Mavs vs Wizards

Image Credit: @MavsPR Twitter

On Saturday, the Dallas Mavericks played the Washington Wizards as they open the month of May at the American Airlines Center. With the Los Angeles Lakers losing their previous game, the fifth seed is now in play, which makes this game monumental for the Mavericks. The Mavericks could move up to fifth or they could fall all the way to seventh, depending on the outcome of this game. The Mavericks will look to begin the month of May with a enormous win.

On Thursday, the Dallas Mavericks played the Detroit Pistons in the final game in the month of April. The Mavericks started this game by getting off to a slow start, as usual, with the Pistons dictating the majority of the pace in the first half. The Mavericks were able to salvage their sluggish start by grabbing a 60-54 lead at halftime. The Mavericks were able to flip the switch in the second half as Tim Hardaway Jr caught fire which was enough to finish with a 115-105 win. Tim Hardaway Jr had arguably the best game of his career as he finished with a career-high 42 points and 3 assists to help the Mavericks overcome the absence of Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis to grab the win. With the win, the Mavericks record improved to 35-27 on the season, as they finished the month of April with a record of 10-6. The Mavericks would learn, before this game, that they would be within range of the fifth seed in the western conference standings, thanks to the Los Angeles Lakers losing their previous game. All of a sudden, this game becomes huge for the Mavericks as a win could move them up to the fifth seed while a loss would drop them down to the seventh seed (thanks to Portland Trail Blazers holding the tiebreaker over the Mavericks). The western conference is very crowded with little room as the season comes to an end, which makes every game “make or break” for the Mavericks by each game becoming the deciding factor into which seed they land. One game could cost the Mavericks between one through three seeds or it could boost them up a seed or two. We’ve reached the point in the season where the Mavericks simply control their own destiny as the result of the games will determine what seed they deserve. After this game, the Mavericks will only have nine games left in the season as it is time to “clinch” playoff spots in the NBA. It is enormous that the Mavericks finish the season strong as that will do them huge favors into grabbing a “good” seed in the western conference standings.

The Washington Wizards are coming into this game by going 9-1 in their last 10 games. They are recently coming off a 122-93 win against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday to see their record improve to 29-34 on the season. The Wizards are coming into this season with hopes of trying to make the playoffs as that’s still a possibility at this point in the season. The Wizards are currently holding the 10th and final seed in the eastern conference standings. This team is led by Russell Westbrook as they look to maintain onto the final playoff spot to play in the “Play-In Tournament”. If their current trend continues, they have a good chance to play in the “Play-In Tournament”, they just need to grab a couple more wins to finish the season strong and have the chance to play in the “Play-In Tournament”.

Coming into this game, the Mavericks won their last meeting with the Wizards 109-87 on April 3rd, 2021. This game will be the final time these two teams play each other in the regular season. The Mavericks previously split their regular season series last season 1-1 against the Wizards. Overall, the Mavericks hold the all-time series with a record of 45-33.

The Mavericks started this game by having Kristaps Porzingis (right knee soreness), JJ Redick (right heel, injury recovery) and Tyrell Terry (personal reasons) be ruled out for this game. As a result, the Mavericks went with Doncic, Richardson, Kleber, Finney-Smith and Powell as their starting five in this game. The first points in the game would belong to Russell Westbrook as he nailed a layup for the Wizards to get this game underway. The Mavericks wouldn’t get their first points until the 11:11 mark as Dwight Powell nailed a alley-oop dunk to tie the game at 2-2. The Mavericks would have their first lead in the game after Dwight Powell nailed two free-throws to take a 4-2 lead with 10:56 left in the quarter. Both teams were able to get their offense rolling as they were able to make good quality shots to begin the game. The Mavericks would extend their lead to seven points after Luka Doncic drilled a three pointer to extend their lead to 11-4 with 9:25 left in the quarter. OH MY GOODNESS!!! LUKA DONCIC FOUND WILLIE CAULEY-STEIN ON A NO-LOOK ALLEY-OOP LOB TO EXTEND THEIR LEAD TO 16-7 that forced the Wizards to call a timeout with 8:24 left in the quarter. Prior to this timeout, the Mavericks were able to open the game by making six of their first eight attempts while the Wizards made just three of their first seven attempts taken thus far. The Mavericks looked like they were playing with tremendous energy as they were having fun throwing down alley-oop attempts. The Mavericks were able to generate a 5-3 run to maintain control of the game. Coming out of the timeout, the Wizards turned to Bradley Beal but couldn’t convert as he would turn the ball over on a traveling violation that kept the score at 16-7 with 8:14 left in the quarter. The Mavericks were able to extend their lead to fourteen points after Dorian Finney-Smith knocked down a three pointer to extend their lead to 22-8 with 6:51 left in the quarter. This is the type of start that the Mavericks needed, given the circumstances surrounding this game. The Wizards were able to trim their deficit to eight points after Bradley Beal nailed two free-throws to come within 22-14 of the Mavericks with 4:51 left in the quarter. The Mavericks were able to extend their lead back to double digits after Josh Richardson knocked down a three pointer to extend their lead to 27-16 with 3:42 left in the quarter. In the final minutes of the quarter, the Mavericks were able to maintain control of the lead and take a 38-26 lead into the second quarter. The game leading scorer after one quarter of play would belong to Luka Doncic as he scored 13 points for the Mavericks. The Wizards were led by Bradley Beal as he scored 6 points. The Mavericks came to play in this game as they looked like they wanted to grab the fifth seed in the western conference standings by playing good basketball on both ends of the court. At the end of the first quarter, the Mavericks were shooting 60.9% on 14-of-23 shooting from the field.

The second quarter would begin by having Nicolo Melli nail a three pointer for the Mavericks to get this quarter underway. The Wizards wouldn’t get their first points in the quarter until the 11:15 mark as Ish Smith nailed a two pointer to come within 41-28 of the Mavericks. The Mavericks were able to extend their lead to eighteen points after Dorian Finney-Smith knocked down a three pointer to extend their lead to 46-28, that forced the Wizards to call a timeout with 10:25 left in the quarter. Prior to this timeout, the Mavericks opened the quarter by making all of their first three attempts while the Wizards made just one of their first two attempts taken thus far. The Mavericks were able to generate a 8-2 run to begin the quarter to maintain control of the game. The Mavericks were playing lights out as their offense was clicking on all cylinders in the quarter thus far. Coming out of the timeout, the Wizards turned to Russell Westbrook as he was able to convert on a jump shot to come within 46-30 of the Mavericks with 10:14 left in the quarter. The Wizards were able to trim their deficit to thirteen points after Russell Westbrook knocked down a jump shot to come within 47-34 of the Mavericks with 9:04 left in the quarter. Rick Carlisle would call a timeout with 7:26 left in the quarter after the Wizards were able to shrink the Mavericks’ lead down to thirteen points again at 52-39. Prior to this timeout, the Wizards were able to generate a quick 5-2 run to keep themselves in the game. The Mavericks were playing with tremendous amount of confidence as they were able to draw up good quality shots on offense. The Wizards were trying to generate something to get themselves back in the game by trying to get their offense to wake up. Coming out of the timeout, the Mavericks turned to Jalen Brunson as he was able to convert on a jump shot to extend their lead to 54-39 with 7:04 left in the quarter. The Mavericks were moving ball very well in this game thus far as it seemed like every player would touch the ball at least once before they attempt to shoot the ball. The Wizards were able to trim their deficit to ten points after Rui Hachimura knocked down a jump shot to come within 54-44 of the Mavericks with 5:41 left in the quarter. The Mavericks were able to extend their lead to double digits again after Luka Doncic knocked down a floating jump shot to extend their lead to 58-44 with 4:52 left in the quarter. In the final minutes of the quarter, the Mavericks were able to maintain control of the lead and take a 70-65 lead into halftime. The game leading scorer after two quarters of play would belong to Russell Westbrook as he scored 23 points for the Wizards. The Mavericks were led by Luka Doncic as he scored 20 points. The Mavericks were to survive the Wizards threat in the quarter by getting some good quality offense of their own. At the end of the first half, the Mavericks were shooting 55.8% on 24-of-43 shooting from the field. Although, the Mavericks were in control for the majority of this game, they better be careful and not fall asleep on these Wizards because they will comeback and make it a game in a blink of an eye.

Coming out of the half, the Mavericks were able to get on the board first in the third quarter by having Dorian Finney-Smith nail a tip-in shot to get this quarter underway. Russell Westbrook was able to score the first points in the quarter for the Wizards as he nailed a layup with 10:59 left in the quarter to come within 72-67 of the Mavericks. Both teams were able to begin the quarter by trading shots on offense. Rick Carlisle would call a timeout with 8:33 left in the quarter after the Wizards were able to shrink the Mavericks lead to 78-76. Prior to this timeout, the Mavericks opened the quarter by making four of their first seven attempts while the Wizards made five of their first seven attempts taken thus far. The Wizards were able to generate a 6-2 run to make this a game. Coming out of the timeout, the Mavericks turned to Dorian Finney-Smith but couldn’t convert as he missed a three pointer that kept the score at 78-76 with 8:10 left in the quarter. The Mavericks were able to extend their lead to four points after Dorian Finney-Smith knocked down a three pointer to extend their lead to 82-78 with 6:59 left in the quarter. The game would find its way to be tied after Ish Smith knocked down a “tip” shot to tie the game at 82-82 with 5:23 left in the quarter. The game would remain tied again after Raul Neto nailed a two pointer to keep the game tied at 86-86 with 3:49 left in the quarter. In the final minutes of the quarter, the Wizards were able to take a 97-89 lead into the fourth quarter. The game leading scorer after three quarters of play would belong to Russell Westbrook as he scored 34 points for the Wizards. The Mavericks were led by Luka Doncic as he scored 23 points. The Wizards dominated this quarter as they were to flip the momentum to their side by playing good basketball on both ends of the court. Through three quarters of play, the Mavericks were shooting 50.8% on 32-of-63 shooting from the field. It would all come down to these final 12:00 minutes of the game to determine how badly the Mavericks wanted the fifth seed in the western conference.

The fourth quarter would begin by having Luka Doncic nail a “bank” shot for the Mavericks to get this quarter underway. The Wizards weren’t able to get their first points in the quarter until the 10:46 mark by having Russell Westbrook nail a jump shot to extend their lead to 99-93. Both teams began the quarter on a fast pace as they were able to generate quick points on offense. The Mavericks were able to trim their deficit to four points after Tim Hardaway Jr knocked down a jump shot to come within 101-97 of the Wizards, that forced the Wizards to call a timeout with 9:14 left in the game. Prior to this timeout, the Mavericks opened the quarter by making four of their first six attempts while the Wizards made just two of their first six attempts taken thus far. The Mavericks were able to generate a quick 4-2 run to try to take the lead right back from the Wizards. If the Mavericks wanted to have any chance of leaving the arena with a win, then they would need to find a way to stop Russell Westbrook as he’s the main reason why the Wizards have the lead. Coming out of the timeout, the Wizards turned to Daniel Gafford as he was able to convert on a alley-oop dunk to extend their lead to 103-97 with 8:57 left in the game. The Mavericks were able to once again, trim their deficit to two points after Dorian Finney-Smith knocked down a three pointer to come within 105-103 of the Wizards with 7:37 left in the game. THE GAME WOULD FIND ITS WAY TO BE TIED AFTER TIM HARDAWAY JR KNOCKED DOWN A HUGE FLOATING JUMP SHOT TO TIE THE GAME AT 105-105, THAT FORCED THE WIZARDS TO CALL A TIMEOUT WITH 7:07 LEFT IN THE GAME. Prior to this timeout, the Mavericks were able to generate a 8-2 to get this game tied. Coming out of the timeout, the Wizards turned to Rui Hachimura as he was able to convert on a jump shot to take the lead at 107-105 with 6:49 left in the game. The game would find its way to be tied again after Trey Burke knocked down a jump shot to tie the game at 109-109 with 5:51 left in the game. THE MAVERICKS WOULD TAKE THE LEAD, after Willie Cauley-Stein knocked down a “tip” shot to take a 111-109 lead with 5:19 left in the game. The Wizards would take the lead right back after Russell Westbrook nailed two free-throws to take a 113-111 lead with 4:39 left in the game. The game would find its way to be catch a break after both teams decided to go to the free-throw line as Dwight Powell did and made both free-throws to tie the game at 113-133 with 4:28 left in the game. Boy, this game looked like it was going to go down to the final minutes to determine the winner of the game. THE MAVERICKS WOULD TAKE THE LEAD (once again) AFTER TREY BURKE KNOCKED DOWN A HUGE THREE POINTER TO TAKE A 116-113 LEAD WITH 3:17 LEFT IN THE GAME. The game would find its way to be tied again after Luka Doncic knocked down a huge jump shot to tie the game at 118-118 with 2:02 left in the game. This quarter featured a ton of back-and-forth as both teams were able to generate good offense as they would trade shots. The Wizards would take the lead after Bradley Beal knocked down two free-throws to take a 122-120 lead that forced Rick Carlisle to call a timeout with 50.3 seconds left in the game. The Mavericks would need to generate something to either tie the game or take the lead. Coming out of the timeout, the Mavericks turned to Luka Doncic as he was able to convert on a jump shot to tie the game at 122-122 with 34.9 seconds left in the game. The Wizards would take the lead after Bradley Beal knocked down two free-throws to take a 124-122 lead with 26.1 seconds left in the game. OH MY GOODNESS!!! DORIAN FINNEY-SMITH KNOCKED DOWN A HUGE THREE POINTER TO TAKE A 125-124 LEAD, THAT FORCED THE WIZARDS TO CALL A TIMEOUT WITH 9.3 SECONDS LEFT IN THE GAME. The game would come down to this final possession. Coming out of the timeout, the Wizards turned to Bradley Beal but COULDN’T CONVERT AS HE MISSED THE THREE POINTER AS TIME EXPIRED!!!!!!!!!. WHAT. A. GAME!!!!!

This team looked like they wanted the fifth seed in the western conference as they were playing good basketball on both ends of the court by taking a 70-65 halftime lead. This is a crucial game that the Mavericks needed to win as this game has seeding implications written all over it. The Mavericks could be the fifth seed with a win but drop to the seventh seed with a loss.

In the end, it was the Dallas Mavericks defeating the Washington Wizards 125-124. The Mavericks record would improve to 36-27 on the season. Luka Doncic finished the game with his first triple-double in 21 games as he finished with 31 points, 12 rebounds and a career-high 20 assists in the BIGGEST WIN OF THE MAVERICKS SEASON (thus far). The Wizards were led by Russell Westbrook as he finished with 42 points, 9 assists and 10 rebounds. The Mavericks got production from Dorian Finney-Smith as he knocked down (the now) game winning shot to give the Mavericks the HUGE WIN. Luka Doncic has recorded the fourth game in NBA history with 30+ points, 10+ rebounds and 20+ assists. With the win, the Mavericks are now in control of the fifth seed in the western conference standings by holding the tiebreaker over the Los Angeles Lakers. HELLO FIFTH SEED!!!. WHAT A WAY TO BEGIN THE MONTH OF MAY WITH A HUGE WIN!!!!

The Mavericks will stay at home as they will welcome the Sacramento Kings back to the American Airlines Center on Sunday in yet another back-to-back. The Mavericks only have three more back-to-backs left in the regular season.

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