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Wizards top Mavericks in a thriller for third straight win

Wizards top Mavericks for third straight win originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

The Washington Wizards beat the Dallas Mavericks 127-126 on Tuesday night. Here are five takeaways from what went down…

New chapter

Tuesday was the first game for the Wizards since they traded Rui Hachimura and announced Kristaps Porzingis would miss multiple games due to a sprained left ankle. That made their matchup with the Dallas Mavericks not exactly the start of a new era, but certainly a moment in time in which they could turn the page and start anew.

That new chapter opened with a victory, as Delon Wright stole Luka Doncic’s pass to Spencer Dinwiddie in the closing seconds to seal it. Kyle Kuzma (30 points) made the go-ahead free throw with five seconds on the clock and was the top scorer in the effort to offset Doncic’s 41 points.

That’s three straight wins for the Wizards, who began a five-game road trip in Dallas. They are now 21-26 on the year and 4-2 in games played without Porzingis.

Will Avdija benefit?

Wizards president Tommy Sheppard gave an unexpected and very specific reason for why he traded Hachimura during Tuesday’s broadcast and that is it was in part to clear the way for Deni Avdija. According to Sheppard, Avdija will have a better chance to develop now that Hachimura is elsewhere, namely because there will be more minutes to go around. The two first-round picks also had some overlap with the position they play and their skillsets, if you consider the fact they are of similar size, are at their best with the ball in their hands and neither are above-average outside shooters.

So, in a way the onus is now on Avdija to capitalize. Trading a player like Hachimura whom the Wizards used the ninth overall pick on was not a decision they made lightly. Avdija has been given a major vote of confidence and a prime opportunity. He was solid in his first stab at it with 15 points, 10 rebounds and three steals. It will be interesting to see how he is used moving forward and how he performs in the new role.

Story continues

Life without K.P.

With Porzingis out for at least a week and possibly several weeks, the Wizards…

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Author : NBC Sports Washington

Publish date : 2023-01-25 04:24:00

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