Wizards hope to find success at home, welcome Mavs
The Washington Wizards aim to snap a three-game home skid on Thursday when they face the Dallas Mavericks to open a six-game homestand.
The Wizards had lost five of their previous six games overall before posting a 108-100 victory over the Charlotte Hornets on Monday night.
Kyle Kuzma scored 20 points and former Maverick Kristaps Porzingis collected 19 points, eight rebounds and five assists for the Wizards, who enjoyed a 50-27 edge in bench points.
Jordan Goodwin did his fair share of the heavy lifting in that regard.
Goodwin, 24, made all seven of his shots from the floor to finish with a career-high 17 points on Monday. He also had five assists, four rebounds and two blocks to step up in place of Bradley Beal (health and safety protocols) and Delon Wright (hamstring).
“It’s just basketball. Like if Brad was here and somebody else was out, he always says ‘next man up,’ ” Goodwin told NBC Sports Washington. “So, I guess I was the next man up and I just took advantage of the opportunity that was given to me.”
Goodwin will have another opportunity on Thursday. Beal was ruled out for the game on Wednesday by coach Wes Unseld Jr.
“I’m just happy for him,” veteran point guard Monte Morris said of Goodwin making the most of his playing time. “Him working out twice a day, doing all that extra stuff and it paying off. Just his hunger out there on both ends, it makes me happy to see as a brother.”
Rui Hachimura scored 11 of his 16 points in the second half on Monday. He has nine double-digit scoring games off the bench this season.
As for Porzingis, he’ll be reacquainted with a familiar face in Luka Doncic.
“He’s just the complete package of a player,” Porzingis told NBC Sports Washington regarding Doncic. “He makes it look so easy to where you’re like why aren’t other guys doing this? But that’s why he’s Luka, that’s why he’s special.”
Doncic was held under 30 points for the first time this season on Wednesday. The three-time All-Star made just 9 of 29 shots from the floor — and 2 of 11 from 3-point range — to finish with 24 points as the Mavericks saw their four-game winning streak come to a halt with a 94-87 setback to the Orlando Magic.
Former Wizard Spender Dinwiddie made four 3-pointers to highlight his season-high 29-point performance on Wednesday, two days after being limited to two points in a 96-94 win over the Brooklyn Nets.
“We just help each other,” Doncic said of working with Dinwiddie in the backcourt. “A lot of times, I draw defenders. Next time, he draws defenders. We’re a great duo and complete each other when drawing the defense.”
Doncic collected 33 points and 10 assists in the Mavericks’ 120-114 home loss to the Wizards on Nov. 27, 2021. He then scored 36 points in a 135-103 setback in Washington on April 1.
–Field Level Media