Posted December 31, 2012 on
AP on Fox
The Dallas Mavericks already got their marquee player back from injury, while the Washington Wizards continue to anxiously await the return of theirs. But both teams continue to struggle heading into Tuesday night's game at Washington.
The Mavericks (12-19) had lost two straight when Dirk Nowitzki made his season debut Dec. 23 against San Antonio, but Dallas has lost all four games since its star forward returned. Nowitzki, who averaged 21.6 points per game in 2011-12 without missing a game, missed the first 27 contests this season after undergoing knee surgery.
The 11-time All-Star is clearly not in top form yet, shooting a career-low 32.4 percent from the field. He hasn't scored more than nine points while playing an average of 21.8 minutes as he tries to improve his conditioning.
Sunday was another struggle, with Nowitzki scoring eight on 3-for-9 shooting in a 111-86 home loss to the Spurs, the Mavericks' sixth straight defeat to mark their longest losing streak since January 6-17, 2011.
Dallas hasn't dropped seven in a row since Feb. 9-19, 1999.
"Obviously Dirk is not ready," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "He's not Dirk Nowitzki, basically one of the greatest players that's ever played, so it's going to take time for him. Everybody's just trying to figure out their place and work around and get back into a rotation. It's very, very difficult when you have a guy like that out and then he comes back."
O.J. Mayo picked up the primary scoring load while Nowitzki was out, averaging a career-best 19.8 ppg. But he's struggled since Nowitzki returned, averaging 8.5 points on 33.3 percent shooting, making his teammate's slow return to form even more noticeable.
Coach Rick Carlisle has regularly shuffled his lineup to try to find answers, but no combinations have kept Dallas from falling seven games under .500 for the first time since April 6, 2000 - the first season Mark Cuban owned the team. Carlisle used his 14th different starting lineup against the Spurs, giving Vince Carter his first start of the season. Carter finished with 13 points on 5-of-11 shooting.
"We've got to stick together and we've got to fight," Carlisle said. "And we've got to fight harder than we did tonight."
The league-worst Wizards (4-24) have lost nine of their last 10 as they are still without John Wall. The third-year point guard is still limited to non-contact work in practice as he recovers from a patella injury.
Wall's absence isn't helping Washington's league-worst field-goal percentage (40.6 percent). The Wizards turned in their 12th sub-40.0 percent shooting performance in Saturday's 87-77 loss at Chicago as leading scorer Jordan Crawford (16.0 ppg) sat out with an ankle injury. Crawford was a full participant in Monday's practice.
"We just didn't have our offense," coach Randy Wittman said. " ... Tonight we came out and battled hard, even though short-handed. Yes, it hurt to lose our leading scorer but it isn't that reason we lost."
Crawford scored 21 points off the bench in Washington's 107-101 loss at Dallas on Nov. 14 - the Wizards' fifth straight defeat in the series. Mayo led the Mavericks with 25 points on 9-of-15 shooting.
BEST OF MAXIM
The Dallas Mavericks are currently 12-19 and in the midst of a six game losing streak. Furthermore, they have dropped nine out of their last 10 games. That isn't sitting well with head coach Rick Carlisle. So, in an effort to help turn things around he has threatened to suspend players if the "unprecedented" stretch of losing continues.“It’s not what this organization...
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Vince Carter scored 23 points, O.J. Mayo and Darren Collison each added 15 to help the Dallas Mavericks break their six-game losing streak with a 103-94 win over the Washington Wizards on Tuesday night.
When the Wizards, who are now 4-25, took a 14-point lead early in the second quarter, Dallas, which had arrived in Washington in the midst of its longest skid...
WASHINGTON -- Forget playing at their previous championship winning level: The scuffling Dallas Mavericks entered the New Year simply in need of a victory. Thanks to a dunking Vince Carter, a shot-making Dirk Nowitzki -- and playing the owners of the NBA's worst record -- the wish came true. Carter scored 23 points and Nowitzki's offense keyed a 22-6 third quarter run as...
Vince Carter one of the best all time dunkers in NBA history prove he still has something left in the tank with his highlight dunk the other night. The Mavericks got destroyed by the Spurs but the play of the night went to Carter, who dunked on Kawhi Leonard.
I think Carter should do 1 more NBA dunk contest before he retires.
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While that may not seem like all that big of an accomplishment, Shawn Marion is my favorite basketball player, tied with Steve Nash and just ahead of LeBron James. I've wanted an auto of his for a long time, and I was very recently able to cross that need off of my Card Bucket List.For the low Buy-It-Now price of $3.94 shipped I picked up this sweet on-card John Hancock from...
It’s not a secret that jocks don’t have the most aesthetically pleasing feet. But getting an up close and personal view puts things in their proper prospective. Wizards Trevor Ariza shared his teammate, Garrett Temple’s feet. He said they’re “throwing up gang signs,” he’s not wrong about that. I hope regular pedicures are part [...]
Dirk Nowitzki went 5-for-7 from the floor to score a season-high 11 points in 17 minutes.
DALLAS (AP) -- Tony Parker had 21 points and nine assists, Manu Ginobili had several key baskets among his 20 points and the San Antonio Spurs handed the Dallas Mavericks their sixth straight loss, 111-86 on Sunday night.
Dirk Nowitzki had eight points on 3-of-9 shooting a week after making a surprise return in a 38-point loss to the Spurs in San Antonio.
The Spurs led all the...
WASHINGTON --Vince Carter scored 23 points and Shawn Marion keyed a 22-6 third quarter run as the Dallas Mavericks snapped a six-game losing streak with a 103-94 win over the Washington Wizards on Tuesday night at the Verizon Center. Marion had 11 points and 14 rebounds while O.J. Mayo and Darren Collison each scored 15 for the Mavericks (13-19), who made 10 of 22 3-point attempts...
DALLAS -- San Antonio didn't humiliate the Dallas Mavericks this time out, but the Spurs did net another sound victory over their instate rivals. Tony Parker scored 21 points as San Antonio took care of the Mavericks 111-86 Sunday night at American Airlines Center. Southwest Division-leading San Antonio (24-8) will take a five-game winning streak going into a New Year'...
Game time: 7:30 p.m. ETTV: Sun Sports
The Miami Heat have hardly looked like one of the NBA's elite teams in recent games, but they played much better than the Dallas Mavericks when the past two league champions met less than two weeks ago.
As they return home from a lackluster trip Wednesday night, the Heat will try to earn a fourth consecutive win over the struggling Mavericks...
The matchup of the night for the San Antonio Spurs and Dallas Mavericks game on the Mavs' homecourt is between Tim Duncan and Dirk Nowitzki.
This will be Dirk's 4th game back and he hasn't shot well, only hitting 32% of his shots so far (he went 3-4 in his first game back against San Antonio). He'll still be looking to find his conditioning on the court, but he...