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News » Wizards-Mavericks Preview

Wizards-Mavericks Preview

Wizards-Mavericks Preview
In their first game after owner Mark Cuban called them out publicly, the Dallas Mavericks responded with an impressive win over one of the Western Conference's best teams.

Their second game following Cuban's comments, however, served as a reminder that the team still has some work to do.

The Mavericks look to bounce back from a lopsided loss by taking advantage of the East-worst Washington Wizards as the clubs meet in Dallas on Saturday night.

Cuban questioned his team's effort and commitment after a 96-87 loss at Oklahoma City on Monday, threatening to get rid of anyone he didn't think was trying. The Mavericks (37-25) answered with a thrilling 107-102 win over Southwest Division-leading San Antonio on Wednesday.

After that game Cuban stressed the importance of giving that kind of effort every night, but Dallas fell way short in a 104-88 loss at New Orleans on Thursday night. The game was tied midway through the third quarter, but the Mavericks seemed to lack the energy to keep up with the Hornets the rest of the way.

Sixth man Jason Terry was quick to point out the team's struggles were related to the fatigue that came with playing two of the West's top teams in back-to-back nights, as opposed to the effort issues that concerned Cuban earlier in the week.

"We just ran out of juice," said Terry, held to 10 points and 4-for-13 shooting. "It wasn't a lack of effort. There just wasn't enough juice left in the tank."

The Mavericks, who were idle Friday, expect to be more rested when they take on the Wizards, who spent their Friday night getting routed 100-78 by the Spurs. Washington (14-48) trailed by as much as 29 in falling to 4-26 on the road with their fourth straight loss overall.

"Where did this one get away? It got away when we first started playing," said Wizards forward Antawn Jamison, who led the team with 14 points while going 6-for-15 from the field. "When you play an elite team like San Antonio, you've got to make it difficult for them."

The Wizards could have an easier time doing that against the Mavericks if Caron Butler returns to the court. The versatile forward, second on the team in scoring at 20.3 points per game and rebounding at 6.2 boards per game, has missed three straight because of a sore hamstring.

While Butler could be nearing a return, DeShawn Stevenson isn't as lucky. The starting shooting guard, who hasn't played since Jan. 31, was officially lost for the season after undergoing surgery to repair a herniated disc Friday.

Washington had its three-game winning streak against Dallas snapped in the teams' first meeting of the season Dec. 21. Terry had 25 points off the bench and Jason Kidd had six of his 11 assists in the final 6:05 as the Mavericks pulled away for a 97-86 road victory.

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: March 7, 2009


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