Mavericks-Wizards Preview

The Associated Press

The Dallas Mavericks seem to have turned things around on the road, and a visit to the nation's capital would appear to give them a good chance to continue that success.

The Washington Wizards, though, are playing some of their best basketball of the season.

Dallas completes a three-game trip Wednesday night as it looks to win four in a row on the road for the first time in nearly three years with a fifth straight victory in Washington.

The Mavericks (18-13) are a solid team at home with 11 wins in 15 games, but they began the season with just four victories in their first 13 away from home before winning the last three on the road.

Dallas has played particularly well on this trip, beating Chicago 105-83 on Saturday and holding off Minnesota 100-98 on Monday behind Shawn Marion's clutch play down the stretch.

Marion scored 32 points - his most since he had 34 against the Bulls while with Toronto in April 2009 - hit two huge 3-pointers in the fourth quarter and swatted away Kevin Love's 21-foot jumper at the buzzer.

"I'm all about winning games, man," Marion said. "Whatever it takes."

Marion, who made 14 of 19 shots to go with six rebounds and three assists, had 14 points, 13 boards and a season-best plus-21 rating Saturday in Chicago.

"Shawn was the key to the game, no question about it," coach Rick Carlisle said. "If we're giving out game balls, it'd be two game balls in a row for him. Activity was great. Played both ends of the floor. Didn't run one play for him. He just produced."

Dallas will now try to win four straight away from home for the first time since March 16-30, 2011, while also going for an eighth consecutive victory over Washington (14-14).

The Wizards have won two straight and five of six, with five of those games coming on the road. They swept a home-and-home series against Detroit with a 106-99 victory in Auburn Hills on Monday.

John Wall had 29 points and seven assists to help Washington get to .500 after 28 games for the first time since finishing the 2007-08 season 43-39.

"It's big, and we know where we want to be," swingman Martell Webster said. "At this point in the year, it's a time we've got to get rolling. When teams start to click, the offensive and defensive schemes start to be all muscle memory."

Washington scores 99.6 points per game, but that number has jumped to 105.2 during this 5-1 stretch due in large part to the team's shooting. The Wizards are making 48.2 percent of their attempts and are 55 for 118 (46.6) from 3-point range.

Wall has been the catalyst, averaging 22.9 points and shooting 50.9 percent over the last seven games while scoring at least 20 in each contest.

"I'm really happy how we're playing, but the main thing with us is we have to play one way," Wall said. "... Be aggressive and play the right way."

Dallas had five players score in double figures in a 105-95 win over visiting Washington on Nov. 12.