The Wizards started 2013 the same way they ended 2012, but they couldn’t have asked for a better beginning against the Mavericks. They led 39-25 when Kevin Seraphin (10 points) made a jump hook with 8 minutes 44 seconds left in the second quarter.
It was only the third time this season that the Wizards led by at least 14 points in a game, but the advantage quickly vanished, as they got complacent and careless. Dallas got within 52-48 at halftime, then used a 9-0 run in the third quarter to take the lead for good.
Shawn Marion hit a fadeaway jumper, then knocked over Nene to steal a bad pass by Martell Webster and dunked to put Dallas ahead, 61-58, forcing Wittman to call a timeout. The Wizards appeared out of sorts the rest of the period, with the team committing six turnovers, including a five-second violation while trying to inbound. Beal slouched his shoulders when he hit the side of the backboard on an open jumper.
“That’s something we have to learn. When we’re up 10, we have to keep playing,” Seraphin said. “We get lazy.”
Emeka Okafor continued his stellar play, recording his fourth double-double in the past five games with 14 points and 11 rebounds. The Wizards, however, fell to 0-4 when he has at least 10 points and 10 rebounds. Webster had 14 points but Nene had a rough outing, scoring just seven points with five rebounds in 25 minutes.
Leading scorer Jordan Crawford returned after missing the previous game in Chicago with a sprained left ankle but he didn’t provide his usual spark off the bench. Crawford scored nine points in 24 minutes, his lowest point total since being held to five points on 2-of-10 shooting in the loss to the Lakers.
Garrett Temple got his second straight start at point guard, but he had a fouled-plagued outing and finished with just six points, three rebounds and three assists. He had just one turnover, tossing the ball off Marion’s back with the Wizards trailing by seven with 90 seconds remaining. Carter then responded with his turn-back-the-clock dunk.
“That last dunk. You can’t really say nothing, but cheer for him,” Beal said. “In amazement.”