By Art Garcia, The Sports Xchange
DALLAS — The Washington Wizards were making one last push when Harrison Barnes took a pass from Deron Williams at the top of the arc.
The leading scorer for the Dallas Mavericks misfired on his last three shots, aiding the Wizards’ comeback efforts.
“I missed some shots there down the stretch,” Barnes said, “but I just tried to relax, shot it with confidence and it went in.”
Barnes’ 3-pointer with 24 seconds left put the finishing touches on a 26-point outing and Dallas’ 113-105 victory Tuesday night at American Airlines Center.
The Mavericks (11-24) went into the fourth quarter down 88-87, but opened the final period with a 20-9 run and held on for their fifth win in their last nine games.
Williams added 21 points in Dallas’ first game of the New Year, knocking down four 3-pointers. The Mavs hit 17 of 32 from beyond the arc.
The Dallas bench also came up big, with Devin Harris scoring 17 and Seth Curry netting 16 points. Each also hit four 3s.
Reserves accounted for 43 points, 19 rebounds and six assists.
“We played a lot of guys,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said. “It is a situation now as we are getting where guys are just going to have to be ready and there are times when they are just going to get thrown in there.”
The Wizards (16-18) lost for the second straight night after falling 101-91 at Houston on Monday. Washington won three in a row before arriving in Texas.
“I thought we got outworked, and I haven’t said that a lot this year with our team,” Wizards coach Scott Brooks said. “But we got outworked. They were moving the ball, and we were hoping that they would miss, and not doing a very good job of making them miss.
“We couldn’t get a handle on Harris and Curry off the bench. I think they had 33 points. We were defending with no purpose. We were giving open looks from the 3-point line. They made 17; they could’ve made 30.”
John Wall lived up to his Eastern Conference Player of the Month award with 27 points and a game-high eight assists. Backcourt mate Bradley Beal had 25 points and six assists.
But it wasn’t enough.
“It’s about bearing down and accepting the challenge, and at the end of the day, nothing against Dallas, but we thought we should beat them,” Beal said. “We had a great situation, a great opportunity to come in and take advantage of it, and we didn’t.”
Dirk Nowitzki had 11 points and nine boards for Dallas. Wesley Matthews scored 12. Barnes hit 8 of 18 from the floor, including 2 of 4 from deep, hauled in seven rebounds and dished out a career high-tying five assists.
Mavericks center Andrew Bogut came off the bench for only the 15th time in his 12-yard career and grabbed six rebounds.
The Wizards were outscored 52-38 in the second half. Marcin Gortat had 12 points and 16 rebounds for Washington.
The Mavericks led for the majority of the first half, opening up as much as an 11-point lead late in the second period.
But the Wizards finished strong, ripping off a 20-3 run to go into the locker room up 67-61. Wall did most of the damage with 20 points and four assists by the break.
Wall had 13 points in the final 1:43 of the half.