Washington (26-24) at Dallas (40-11)

Mostly Cloudy Currently: Dallas, TX
Temp: 75° F
  • Game info: 9:00 pm EST Wed Feb 15, 2006
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The Dallas Mavericks hope to have started another long winning streak. It seems possible considering they hardly leave home for the next few weeks.

Following an easy win to open their six-game homestand, the Mavericks take a 10-game home winning streak into their matchup with the Washington Wizards.

Dallas had a 13-game win streak snapped with a 113-104 road loss to the Denver Nuggets on Friday, but returned home Monday to easily defeat the New York Knicks 100-72. The Mavericks haven’t lost back-to-back games since November.

“You want to use that game as a learning process game,” Dallas forward Josh Howard said of the loss in Denver. “I think we picked up on some things that we did wrong and corrected them.”

The loss that preceded the Mavericks’ 13-game run was a 117-115 overtime defeat in New York.

“That New York game kick-started a nice little streak,” said Dirk Nowitzki, who led six Mavericks in double figures on Monday with 21 points. “Maybe we needed that Denver loss to get us going on another winning streak.”

Dallas was held to 39.7 percent from the field Monday, the team’s lowest percentage in more than a month, but went 34-of-37 from the free throw line and forced 24 turnovers.

Monday’s victory was the season-high 10th in a row at home for the Mavs and began a stretch in which they play nine of 10 games in Dallas. Only the San Antonio Spurs and Detroit Pistons have better home records.

This six-game homestand includes no matchups with division leaders, though Washington is one of three second-place teams that will visit.

The Wizards lost 97-96 to the New Orleans Hornets on Monday, ending their season-best five-game winning streak. Washington led by 19 at one point in the second half, but was outscored 35-21 in the third quarter.

The game came down to the final play. After Gilbert Arenas missed a shot, Antawn Jamison rebounded and made a 20-footer with 0.5 seconds left to put Washington up by one.

After a timeout, New Orleans’s Desmond Mason inbounded to David West, who swished his jumper. Game officials reviewed the shot to see if West released the ball in time and ruled that he did.

“Shocked? Everyone was shocked,” Arenas said. “You were shocked. I was shocked. He was shocked that it went in. It’s hard to win or lose a game with 0.5 seconds left, but obviously it happened.”

Arenas had 43 points, the seventh time this season he’s scored 40 or more.

“Gilbert had the look tonight,” Washington coach Eddie Jordan said. “He is one of the best competitors around. He single-handedly carried us.”

The Wizards have lost 10 of the last 13 meetings between the teams, including three straight.

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