Preview: Dallas At Washington
When: 6:00 PM ET, Sunday, December 6, 2015
Where: Verizon Center, Washington, District of Columbia
The up-and-down Washington Wizards are good enough to beat the Cleveland Cavaliers one game and lose to the Los Angeles Lakers the next. The Wizards look a lot better when Bradley Beal is scoring, and the standout guard will try to put together back-to-back strong performances when they host the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday.
Beal slumped to 11 points on 4-of-12 shooting in Wednesday’s loss to the Lakers but busted out for a season-high 34 on 12-of-23 shooting and added nine rebounds in Friday’s 109-106 triumph over the Phoenix Suns. “I have to be more of a threat,” Beal told reporters. “I can’t just be passive. I can’t just give up the ball that easy. I have to create, whether it’s for me or for a teammate.” Beal will likely spend some time on Sunday matched up against Mavericks shooting guard Wesley Matthews, who is waiting to break out of his own shooting slump. “I’m just tired of hurting the team, tired of missing shots,” Matthews told reporters. “I put everything I have into this game.”
TV: 6 p.m. ET, FSN Southwest (Dallas), CSN Mid-Atlantic (Washington)
ABOUT THE MAVERICKS (11-9): Dallas dropped five of its last seven games after winning six straight. The Mavericks allowed an average of 94.8 points during the winning streak but let things slip a bit on that end of late, surrendering an average of 105.4 points in the last five losses. “It’s frustrating,” point guard Deron Williams told reporters. “We’ve got to be a little bit more consistent.”
ABOUT THE WIZARDS (8-9): Washington trailed for the first 46 minutes on Friday before Beal put them in front to stay, and grinded out the win despite having big men Marcin Gortat (personal), Nene (calf), Drew Gooden III (calf) and Kris Humphries (ankle) unavailable. “We kept fighting,” coach Randy Wittman told reporters. “We were diving on the floor and into each other. It was a gutty effort.” All four could be out again on Sunday, leaving small forwards Otto Porter Jr. and Jared Dudley as the biggest players on the court at times.
1. Wizards PG John Wall totaled 17 turnovers in the last three games.
2. Mavericks F Dirk Nowitzki recorded three of his four double-doubles on the season in the last six games.
3. Dallas has taken 10 straight in the series.
PREDICTION: Mavericks 102, Wizards 96