With Bogut in reserve role, Mavs down Wizards

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Jan 04 2017 02:01 PM

Dallas Mavericks forward Harrison Barnes (40) scores during the fourth quarter against the Washington Wizards at American Airlines Center. Photo by Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

LOS ANGELES -- The Mavericks' experiment with bringing Aussie big man Andrew Bogut off the bench paid off on Tuesday with a 113-105 NBA victory over the Washington Wizards in Dallas.

The strategy meant that Bogut and veteran Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki were never on the floor at the same time, and while Dallas coach Rick Carlisle wasn't completely comfortable with the plan, there was no arguing with the result.

"I don't like this," Carlisle admitted after the win. "He (Bogut) shouldn't be coming off the bench. But the fact that he's not only willing, but basically offered to, tells you a lot about his character.

"He wants to win. This is not a normal occurrence for a 12- or 13-year guy. And he's a proud guy. He deserves to start. They both do. But we haven't been able to make it work real well. So tonight, this is where we were."

It was just the 15th time in his career that Bogut came off the bench.

"There's no point of starting with Dirk and then getting pulled 30 seconds into a game," Bogut told ESPN. "So I went to coach and said, 'If you're going to continue to do that, just bring me off the bench. I won't be offended."

For one night at least it looked like a good idea, with the struggling Mavericks improving to 11-24.

Dallas' reserves played a big role. Devin Harris and Seth Curry combined for 33 of 43 points provided by the Mavs bench, Harris pouring in 17 points in 17 minutes.

Bogut didn't score, but he pulled down six rebounds and blocked one shot in 20 minutes.

Dallas got a scare when he limped off after banging knees with an opponent in the waning minutes, but Carlisle said it didn't appear to be serious.

Harrison Barnes led the Mavericks with 26 points. Down 88-87 heading into the fourth quarter, Dallas opened the final frame with a 20-9 scoring run and held on for the victory.

Deron Williams added 21 points. That included four three-pointers as the Mavericks made 17 of 32 from long range.

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