Randy Foye scored a season-high 26 points last night against the Dallas Mavericks but the Washington Wizards needed two more in a 94-93 hometown defeat. Jason Kidd led Dallas with 6 points and 15 assists while Dirk Nowitzki scored a game-high 28 on the road.
Last night’s game put the concept of the NBA as a “game of runs” to the test, as the Wizards closed each quarter but the fourth with a crucial mini-run. Washington trailed by as many as 12 points in the first quarter, but came back. They trailed by as many as 14 points in the second quarter, but came back. Down 50-47 at halftime, the Wizards would once again trail by a large margin in the third quarter, this time by as many as 11, yet Washington rallied back once more.
The Wizards had two main problems. They couldn’t control Kidd, who helped Dallas out score Washington 12-0 in fast break points, and they didn’t have anyone to guard Nowitzki. However, down the stretch of the fourth quarter, Brendan Haywood was assigned to Dirk, and with 6.7 seconds left in regulation, Haywood drew an offensive foul call on Nowitzki as Dirk tried to go to the basket.
Down 94-93, the Wizards had one final shot for a victory. Caron Butler got the ball, went for a jumper, but his shot was blocked swiftly by Shawn Marion which all but ended the game.
Hats off the Dallas, yet a game Washington could have won. Antawn Jamison continues to be in some sort of rebounding funk, only 4 boards last Monday against Portland and 3 boards last night against Dallas. The Wizards are 2-6 this season when Jamison gets 5 or less rebounds in a game. There’s also the matter of AJ’s 7 points in the loss. When Jamison scores less than 10 points in a game this season, he averages less than 2.7 rebounds.
Washington’s next opponent, the Miami Heat, are not known as a great rebounding team (currently they rank #23 in the league). However, the Heat certainly have a roster full of speedsters waiting to run the fastbreak. The Wizards will have to study some tape on how to combat Miami, especially the 104-64 meltdown the Heat suffered last night against the Charlotte Bobcats.
Out of Bounds
• NBA League Pass is free from now until Sunday on a trial basis. Try it while you still can if interested.
• NBA All-Star starters will be named tonight on TNT at 7 p.m. ET (or teased and released later in between a double-header). Check out Examiner’s All-Star picks and feel free to leave a comment with your own choices if you agree or disagree.
• Tonight’s 8:00 p.m. ET game features LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers as they play host to Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers. The Lakers lost to the Cavs 102-87 on Christmas Day and will look to even the series 1-1 tonight. The second game of the night features the Los Angeles Clippers as they challenge the Denver Nuggets.
• From Dallas to Dallas: 41 Wizards games are in the books, 41 to go. Tomorrow I’ll take a look at a few trends so far in the season, and analyze how this Wizards team might earn more than the projected 28 wins following last night’s loss.
• Sorry about the picture, a big thanks to Georgetown Hoyas Examiner Kevin Ross for alerting me about my self copy-pasting ways. Should actually be Foye now in the top right corner :).
Wizards Upcoming Schedule:
• 2010 All-Star Voting: Butler, Arenas, Jamison
• Gilbert Arenas suspended indefinitely by league
• CSN: 2009 Washington Wizards Review
• Caron Butler’s Annual Bike Brigade
• Washington Wizards 09-10 Media Guide (PDF)
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