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News » Mavericks-Wizards Preview

Mavericks-Wizards Preview

Mavericks-Wizards Preview
Jason Terry is giving the Dallas Mavericks a backup they can count on. The Washington Wizards, meanwhile, can barely rely on their starters.

Terry and the Mavericks look to beat the lowly Wizards for the first time in four games as the teams meet Sunday night.

Dallas (14-11) has lost three straight against Washington (4-20) after winning the previous six meetings, but the Wizards now have the Eastern Conference's worst record after making the playoffs the last four seasons.

The Mavericks lost seven of their first nine games, but have bounced back since putting Terry in a reserve role. The veteran guard is averaging 21.7 points in 20 games coming off the bench, and Dallas has won 13 of those contests.

"It's a situation where I know what my role is," Terry said. "For us to be a good team I have to do my job consistently every night, and it's just something that throughout my career that I don't think I've done to the best of my abilities and this year I'm really focusing on it."

Terry started five games early in November and the Mavs lost four of them. They lost in Terry's first game after moving back to the bench, but won 12 of the next 15.

Terry had 23 points and six rebounds against New Jersey on Friday night, but Dallas lost 121-97.

In the three losses to Washington, Terry averaged 3.7 points while shooting 16.7 percent (4-for-24) from the field.

The Wizards, though, don't appear to be in any shape to stop Terry and the Mavs, allowing 103.7 points per game.

Washington has had to contend with losing starters Gilbert Arenas (knee) and center Brendan Haywood (wrist) to injuries, with each player yet to suit up this season. Additionally, starting power forward Antawn Jamison is playing with a strained left thumb.

Washington's starters are averaging 61.8 points, which ranks near the bottom of the league. The Wizards are near the middle of the pack in scoring overall, though, posting 96.9 points per contest.

Despite his injury, Jamison scored 23 points against Philadelphia in a 109-103 loss on Friday night.

"We've just got to remain positive from the top to the bottom," Wizards forward Caron Butler said. "We've just got to remain positive and stay on the same page because with all this losing it's easy to get separated. I've never dealt with a situation like this, but I will remain positive and continue to go out there and give great effort."

Washington has lost five straight and is 3-10 under interim coach Ed Tapscott. The Wizards, who are 3-11 at home, have given up 116.3 points per game during a current three-game losing streak at the Verizon Center.

"Hard work is not the issue - execution is," Tapscott said told the Wizards' official Web site.

Tapscott, looking for an answer at point guard with Arenas out until at least early January, has started Mike James the last two games. He has scored 16 points in each contest, but had only four assists while committing three turnovers.

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: December 20, 2008


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