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11/15/2012 12:18 AM EST
Kaman 23 points as Mavs beat Wizards 107-101
DALLAS 107, WASHINGTON 101

By STEPHEN HAWKINS
AP Sports Writer

DALLAS (AP) -- Chris Kaman was a starter and finisher for the
Dallas Mavericks.



Kaman started only his second game in Dallas, scoring 23 points
with some key responses late as the Mavericks held on for a
107-101 victory over the winless but late-charging Washington
Wizards on Wednesday night.



"I felt comfortable early. Our guards found me for some layups
and got me going," Kaman said. "I was real disappointed and
frustrated, myself included, in the team as a whole on the way
we approached the fourth quarter. We finished the right way, but
we were up (18 points) in the fourth quarter."



Dallas snapped a three-game losing streak since Kaman's only
other start.



The Wizards (0-7) got close with a 15-0 run in about 3 1/2
minutes in the fourth quarter.



And they missed a tying 3-pointer in the final minute before
Kaman, who also scored the opening basket of the game and
finished 10-of-12 shooting, had a strong inside basket and made
the free throw after being fouled with 17 seconds left to
finally clinch the game.



"Kaman's scoring was terrific efficiency-wise," coach Rick
Carlisle said.



The Wizards are the only team without a victory, and one short
of the franchise-worst start set just last season when they lost
their first eight games.



Detroit won for the first game earlier Wednesday, 94-76 at
Philadelphia.



Cartier Martin capped Washington's big run with consecutive
3-pointers, swishing the second from the wing right in front of
the Mavs bench and Carlisle to get within 88-85.



"The first three quarters were great. We'll take that effort and
energy any night. But we got a little content with the lead,"
said O.J. Mayo, who scored 25 points. "We got into the mentality
that they were going to quit and we'll go away with the win. ...
It's all about stepping on an opponent when you have them down."



Kaman had a short hook on the Mavs' next possession. After Kevin
Seraphin made a hook over Kaman, the Mavs' 7-foot center scored
with his back to the basket when he tossed the ball over his
shoulder.



A defensive rebound by Kaman led to a basket by Mayo that made
it 94-87, and still that almost wasn't enough.



Seraphin had consecutive baskets and it was 101-98 with just
under 2 minutes left. Seraphin then had a steal, but Jannero
Pargo missed a potential tying 3.



"Hey, you want to fight. We fought, it's a learning process,"
coach Randy Wittman said. "We can't get down (in the game), but
we did fight back."



Washington outscored Dallas 34-22 in the fourth quarter without
a starter getting on the floor. Seraphin had 14 of his 16 points
in that spurt and Martin had 14 points after not even playing
the first three quarters.



"We have a tough group of guys on this team. Our record doesn't
show how great of a group we are," said Martin, who made all
four of his 3-pointers. "Everybody on this team can play. We're
struggling right now, but we're going to continue to fight.
We're not going to give up."



The Wizards made six 3s in the fourth quarter, but never went to
the free-throw line while Kaman's closing three-point play made
Dallas 9 of 10 from the stripe in the final 12 minutes.



"For whatever reason, this team doesn't get any respect,"
Wittman said. "We go to the rim, and had 11 free throws. These
young guys just have to make a name for themselves. And it's
just baffling some of the things that are said to me by the refs
for why they don't call it."



Jordan Crawford led Washington with 21 points.



It was the first game in Dallas started together by Kaman and
Elton Brand, Mavs newcomers who were past teammates with the Los
Angeles Clippers. The Mavs are missing injured starters Dirk
Nowitzki and Shawn Marion.



Brand had 11 points and 12 rebounds. Jae Crowder, the rookie who
had started the previous four games, scored 12 points off the
bench.



The Wizards were within 37-33 when Emeka Okafor made a 7-foot
turnaround jumper with just under 7 minutes left in the first
half.



Brand then made a pair of free throws to start a 15-2 run. And
the Mavericks made 10 of their next 12 shots for a 63-45
halftime lead.



It was the first 40-point quarter this season for the Mavericks.



NOTES: Wizards starting guard AJ Price sprained his right ankle.
He finished with 11 points. ... Marion missed his fifth
consecutive game because of a sprained left knee. Carlisle said
Marion is getting closer to returning, but still isn't sure if
he will make the trip for back-to-back games this weekend at
Indiana and Cleveland. ... Nowitzki is still recovering from
arthroscopic knee surgery before the season. ... Dallas has won
five in a row against Washington since October 2009. ... There
was an announced crowd of 19,560, which was the team's 437th
consecutive sellout - despite obvious blocks of empty seats
throughout the arena.

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