for this game

Mavs aim to regroup vs. Wizards

Mar 13, 2012 - 2:48 PM (Sports Network) - A precarious slide has threatened to make the reigning NBA champion Dallas Mavericks irrelevant come this postseason.

The Mavs will try to turn things around in Big D tonight when they open up a three-game homestand against the lowly Washington Wizards.

Dallas lost its third consecutive game at Golden State on Saturday, getting routed by the Warriors 111-87. Dirk Nowitzki paced the Mavericks with 22 points, while Jason Terry and Rodrigue Beaubois scored 15 and 12, respectively, as Dallas saw its road losing streak hit seven, which marks its longest since an eight-game slide Nov. 7-30, 1999.

"We can't let this kill our spirit," said Terry after the game. "We're in a rough go, and you have to go through rough times to get to where you want to go."

The Mavs, who lost seven on nine games over a 12-day span, are currently the seventh seed in the Western Conference playoff hunt but are just one game in front of ninth place Minnesota.

On paper Dallas looks like it has an excellent chance to steady the ship a bit. The Mavs, who are 15-7 at home, will be taking on a Wizards team that is just 3-15 away from the nation's capital tonight and will follow that up with a matchup against NBA-worst Charlotte on Thursday before finishing their residency against Southwest Division-leading San Antonio on Saturday.

"We've gotta go forward," coach Rick Carlisle told the Mavericks' website. "It was a murderer's stretch, a tough schedule and all that, but it's behind us and we've gotta focus on this next stretch of games. And the home games are critical for us."

Washington opened a six-game road trip by losing to the Spurs, 112-97, on Monday.

JaVale McGee ended with 21 points and 15 rebounds for the Wizards, who have lost 12 in a row to San Antonio. Jordan Crawford and Nick Young had 19 and 18 points, respectively.

"They did a great job of going under screens and I missed a couple jump shots," Wizards guard John Wall, who scored 12 points, said. "It took me a while to get my rhythm going but they do a great job helping. You basically have to score off transition against the Spurs because when they are set, they are one of the best defensive teams in the league."

Dallas has won three straight and five of six over Washington.