WASHINGTON (AP) — A strong second-half performance helped the Dallas Mavericks avoid their first seven-game skid in nearly 14 years.
Vince Carter scored 23 points, and O.J. Mayo and Darren Collison each added 15 to help the Mavericks break their six-game losing streak with a 103-94 win over the Washington Wizards on Tuesday night.
The Wizards (4-25) took a 14-point lead early in the second quarter before Dallas rallied. The Mavs trailed by four at the half before outscoring the Wizards 35-19 in the third quarter to take an 83-71 lead.
"It's been a rough two weeks," coach Rick Carlisle said.
The Mavericks have tried to work Dirk Nowitzki back into the lineup, and in his fifth game back after right knee surgery the former league MVP scored 11 points.
"The locker room is miserable. The coaches are miserable when we lose, so it definitely is one we wanted to get," Nowitzki said.
The Mavericks were ahead 99-84 with 3:28 to play, but Washington scored eight straight to cut the lead to seven. Carter, making only his second start of the season, followed with an emphatic dunk with 1:11 to play to make it 101-93.
Carter began the game with a dunk, and the one that secured the win was reminiscent of his high-flying prime.
"The body felt good. Sometimes when I go to dunk, the next couple of plays, I'll stay away from the rim. So, I felt good. I was in attack mode. Those were plays that were needed," Carter said.
Carter will be 36 later this month, but his play doesn't surprise Carlisle.
"He shows flashes of those things more frequently than you might think. The play to open the game was a key play for us because it kind of woke our whole team up and I thought it got us going in the right direction. The play at the end of the game was pivotal because I thought it sealed the game," Carlisle said.
"He said to me coming off the court during the timeout, he goes: 'Bet you didn't think I could do that.'
Six players scored in double figures for Dallas. Chris Kaman scored 12 and Shawn Marion had 11 points with a season-high 14 rebounds.
Bradley Beal equaled a career high with 22 points for the Wizards. Emeka Okafor had 14 points and 11 rebounds, and Martel Webster also scored 14.