Mavericks get much-needed win, 107-98 over Wizards

The Associated Press

DALLAS (AP) Rodrigue Beaubois finished for the Dallas Mavericks, a good sign for a team trying to get back on track while also preserving veterans like Jason Kidd.

Beaubois made some acrobatic moves to keep balls in play and scored 19 points, including five straight in a clinching stretch early in the fourth quarter as the Mavericks got a desperately needed 107-98 victory over the Washington Wizards on Tuesday night.

''From start to finish, you look at offense, defense, decision making, it's one of his best game's he's had,'' coach Rick Carlisle said. ''Really significant because down the stretch I wanted to keep Kidd out if possible. ... He did a great job, so there's some real growth there.''

Kidd, only 10 days shy of his 39th birthday, wasn't needed in the fourth quarter.

Dirk Nowtizki scored 27 points and Jason Terry, who like Beaubouis played the entire fourth quarter, had 24. Vince Carter added 14, while Shawn Marion had 10 points and 13 rebounds.

The defending NBA champions had lost eight of their previous 10 games. There were three road losses in three nights before a short break leading into consecutive home games against the league's two worst teams.

''I thought Roddy gave us a lift,'' Nowitzki said. ''We've got to work for everything we get and grind those wins out.''

After Terry's short jumper early in the fourth quarter, Beaubois quickly followed with five consecutive points in less than a minute. That 7-0 run put the Mavs up 92-79 with 8 1/2 minutes left.

Beaubois made a 12-footer, then followed up Terry's miss with a putback layup and extended his personal run with a free throw on the next possession with 8 1/2 minutes left.

''We weren't playing that good so we needed this,'' Beaubois said. ''I try to attack and play my game. I made jumpers and made some layups. I try to be aggressive but I'm also a point guard so I try to get other guys the ball. I'm learning.''

Trevor Booker had 20 points and 12 rebounds for the Wizards (9-32). John Wall had 18 points and 10 assists. Jordan Crawford and Nick Young had 15 points each.

''We competed,'' Wall said. ''We just gave up too many easy baskets. We've got to figure out how to close.''

The only team with fewer wins than Washington is Charlotte (6-34), which plays in Dallas on Thursday night before Southwest Division-leading San Antonio is in town Saturday night.

After being called for a foul against Young that led to two free throws and got the Wizards within 70-68 with 4:21 left in the third quarter, Beaubois more than made up for that on the next possession.

Shawn Marion's crosscourt pass appeared headed out of bounds when Beaubois leaped up near the sideline to grab it. While still in the air, Beaubois passed the ball to Vince Carter for a 3-pointer.

Beaubois had another nifty save late in the first quarter after Young stole the ball from Nowitzki. Young took off on a breakaway, but Beaubois hustled back and stripped the ball under the basket. He then grabbed the ball and managed to keep his feet up in the air above the baseline while throwing the ball out to Terry.

When the ball got back to the other end, Beaubois hit a long jumper right in front of the Mavericks bench for a 27-26 lead after the first quarter.

''I just liked the way Roddy was playing. You could tell the guys had lot of confidence in him,'' Carlisle said. ''The only mistakes he really made were a couple of shots he turned down that he had. ... He's changing speeds, he's doing a great job guarding people. He's solid. His decision-making is improvement. This is big.''

Dallas went ahead to stay in the second quarter, when they shot 82 percent (14 of 17 from the field). They ended the half with a 10-3 run for a 60-51 lead.

That half-ending run came after Nowitzki, who had made his first seven shots, missed a 3-pointer from the top of the key with 2:55 left. But he had a 17-footer and two free throws in the final 44 seconds, giving him 20 points in the first half. He finished 10-of-14 shooting overall.

''Beaubois gave them a big lift,'' Wizards coach Randy Wittman said. ''To come in off the bench with 19 points, that was a big thing that hurt us.''

NOTES: Dallas scored 60 points in the first half for the fourth time this season, the first in 18 games - since 64 against Denver on Feb. 8. ... Washington is 3-16 on the road, including six losses in a row. ... Nowtizki had a four-point play with 5 minutes left in the third quarter. After Nowitzki got fouled making a 14-foot jumper, Crawford was called for a technical foul. Nowitzki made the technical free throw, then the freebie for being fouled for a 68-56 lead. ... Mavs C Brendan Haywood, who had missed the previous four games with a sprained left ankle, had six points and eight rebounds in nearly 25 minutes.

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