- Associated Press - Sunday, December 6, 2015

WASHINGTON (AP) - Dallas guard Wesley Matthews has been mired in a shooting slump trying to recover from a ruptured left Achilles tendon suffered last March.

Everything changed in the second half Sunday night.

Matthews scored 28 of his season-high 36 points after halftime and the Dallas Mavericks beat the Washington Wizards 116-104.

John Wall led Washington with 28 points but injured his right knee colliding with Dallas’ Jeremy Evans and was helped off the court with 1:14 left. Wall underwent an MRI but said he did not know the results.

He’s not sure about his status for the Wizards’ game Monday in Miami.

“If it’s something that I have to sit out, I will,” Wall said. “If it’s something that’s fine (and) I can play through it, I will.”

Matthews made 10 3-pointers overall, eight in the second half alone, and tied his career high for scoring. He went 10 for 14 from the field in the final two quarters and helped Dallas rebound from a slow start.

“Wes led the way,” Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said. “He’s had a rough go here, and the important thing is we all kept encouraging him. What he’s doing is extremely difficult, coming back from that injury on this timetable.”

Matthews went just 1-for-9 and scored only five points in the Mavericks’ loss to Houston on Dec. 4. He also was shooting just 34 percent coming into this game but the guard said he finally got on a roll in this contest.

“It’s one of those nights where those same shots that I’ve been shooting and missing, they were falling tonight,” Matthews said. “They kept finding me, and I kept letting them fly.”

Dirk Nowitzki had 19 points and Raymond Felton added 11 points and 10 rebounds. Deron Williams helped with 11 points, nine assists and seven rebounds.

The injury-plagued Wizards dressed just 10 players for the third time in eight days.

Washington coach Randy Wittman leaned on his smaller players because of that, and the Mavericks said they needed some time to adjust to the fact that the Wizards constantly pushed the pace.

The momentum repeatedly swung back and forth in this game until the Mavericks took command in the second half. Gary Neal scored 13 of his 18 points off the bench in the second quarter to help the Wizards take a 58-49 lead late.

But Dallas scored 20 of the next 25 for a 69-63 lead. Most of the third quarter turned into a battle between Matthews and Wall.

Both guards scored 14 points, but the Mavericks went into the fourth with an 87-84 lead. Matthews then made three straight 3-point shots to give Dallas a 96-88 lead.


Mavericks: J.J. Barea (right ankle sprain) missed a fifth straight game. Coach Rick Carlise said they still don’t have a timetable for his return. “It’s clear that we need him back but we need him back healthy,” Carlisle said. … The Mavericks finished with a 50-31 edge in rebounding against the much smaller Wizards.

Wizards: DeJuan Blair’s season high was four points, but he scored seven points, all in the first quarter, against his former team. … The Wizards entered the game averaging 17.2 turnovers - second-most in the NBA - but had only two in the first half and six overall.


Dallas guard Devin Harris didn’t play in the second half after colliding with teammate Justin Anderson. The problem is that Harris is 6-foot-3, 185 pounds while Anderson is 6-6 and 228 pounds. Harris said he’s day-to-day with bruised ribs, and that X-rays were negative. … Chandler Parsons was held out of this game to rest but will be available Monday night against the Knicks.


Wittman liked how hard his team played despite using four and five guards on the court at times due to the team’s injuries. “They’re fighting; they’re doing a hell of a job in the Phoenix game and this one as well,” he said.


Mavericks meet the Knicks in New York on Monday night.

Wizards play at Miami on Monday night.

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