A starter for most of his nine-plus NBA seasons, Stackhouse spent the previous two seasons with the Wizards, who have failed to make the playoffs since 1997. The 6-foot-6 swingman struggled last season after missing the first 45 games due to knee surgery, averaging a career-low 13.9 points.
When the Mavericks offered him the chance to be on a playoff-contending team in a reserve capacity, Stackhouse jumped at it. Dallas traded reigning NBA Sixth Man of the Year Antawn Jamison to Washington for Stackhouse, Christian Laettner, and a No. 5 draft pick during the offseason.
Stackhouse appears to be discovering his touch off the bench. He scored a season-high 28 points for the Mavericks in a 94-78 victory over the New Jersey Nets on Saturday.
“That was fun,” said Stackhouse, who entered the game shooting just 36.4 percent from the field. “We weren’t really doing anything different. The game dictated that I would get some opportunities. It is always good to see the ball go in the hole.”
Stackhouse was 10-of-18 from the field and sank all seven of his free throws in 40 minutes. He scored the final six points in the first quarter and the first five early in the second to spark the Southeast Division-leading Mavericks.
”(Stackhouse) can come off the bench and give us points in a heartbeat,” said Dallas forward Dirk Nowitzki, who added 31 points, seven rebounds, seven assists and four of Dallas’ 12 steals. “He’s been great and I’m sure he’s going to win a lot games for us this year.”
Jamison will also get his first shot at his former team. The 6-foot-9 forward was shipped out of Dallas because his playing style was a little too similar to Nowitzki’s. Averaging 24 points in his first five games with Washington, Jamison finished with 14 points and nine rebounds in Washington’s 105-74 loss at Cleveland on Saturday.
“That’s no excuse,” center Brendan Haywood said. “On the offensive end, we have to do a better job of boxing everybody out, from the center spot to the guard spot.”
Washington leads the all-time series 26-20, but Dallas has won eight of the last 11 meetings.
STANDINGS (through Nov. 12): Mavericks - 1st place, Southwest Division. Wizards - 3rd place, 1 GB, Southeast Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Mavericks - Nowitzki, 27.3 ppg, 8.4 rpg and 3.4 apg. Wizards - Jamison, 22.7 ppg and 8.5 rpg; Arenas, 5.4 apg.
2003-04 SEASON SERIES: Tied, 1-1.
LAST MEETING: Dec. 2, 2003; Mavericks, 97-72. At Dallas, Jamison scored a game-high 21 points for the Mavericks, who won despite 41.7 percent shooting from the field.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Mavericks - 3-1 on the road; Wizards - 1-1 at home.