Wesley Matthews was critical of himself after a poor shooting performance Friday night against the Houston Rockets.
Oh, what a difference 48 hours make.
Playing with a chip on his shoulder, a confident Matthews scored a career-high-tying 36 points Sunday night at the Verizon Center and also vaulted into the record books in leading the Mavs to a 116-104 triumph over the Washington Wizards.
Matthews was spectacular en route to making 10 of 17 shots from 3-point territory. The 10 3-point baskets were a personal high for Matthews and also tied the Mavs’ franchise record for 3-pointers held by George McCloud.
Matthews said the basket looked like an ocean, and he kept casting one 3-pointer after another.
“My teammates were finding me and it was one of those nights where the same shots that I’ve been shooting and missing were falling tonight,” said Matthews, who was 1-of-9 from the field in the loss to the Rockets. “They kept finding me and I kept letting them fly.”
Matthews scored just eight points in the first half, which ended with the Mavs behind 58-55. But he heated up in the third quarter when he scored 14 points, and then he tied a nice bow around his amazing marksmanship when he tacked on another 14 points in the fourth quarter.
“He’s had a rough go here, and the important thing is we all kept encouraging him and we have a great deal of belief in him,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “What he’s doing is extremely difficult — coming back from [left Achilles tendon surgery on March 11] on this timetable is hard.
“The truth is along the way there’s going to be some nights like this and there’s going to be some nights like Friday night. He’s just got to keep staying the course and seeing the light, because at the end of this process he’s going to be a better player than he was when he went down last March.”
Meanwhile, the Mavs lost another guard to an injury. Devin Harris suffered a bruised rib in the first half after he collided with teammate Justin Anderson.
“He just got himself going a little bit too fast and I tried to get out of the way and he ran into me at top speed,” Harris said. “The X-rays were negative.
“It hurts, but it’s not anything I haven’t had before. I’m a quick healer, so hopefully I can get out there sooner than later.”
Chandler Parsons (rest), JaVale McGee (rest), J.J. Barea (ankle) and Dwight Powell (knee) all sat out Sunday’s game.
As a team, the Mavs (12-9), who play at the New York Knicks at 6:30 p.m. Monday, were hot against the Wizards. They made 50 percent of their field goals, were 16 of 31 from 3-point range, and also won the rebounding battle by a 50-31 margin.
Raymond Felton (11 points, 10 rebounds) collected his first double-double of the season, and Dirk Nowitzki added 19 points and six rebounds. The Mavs also received productive outings from Deron Williams (11 points, seven rebounds, nine assists), Zaza Pachulia (10 points, seven rebounds), Charlie Villanueva (10 points), and Jeremy Evans (seven points, seven rebounds).
By losing to the Mavs for the 11th straight time, the Wizards saw Matthews make three consecutive 3-pointers to open the fourth quarter. After a jumper by Nowitzki found its intended destination, the Mavs led 98-88 with eight minutes remaining in the game.
In the joyous Mavs’ locker room, Matthews stood firm in his criticism of himself leading into his stunning shooting display against the Wizards.
“I wasn’t saying that because I was trying to get any reassurance or support or anything like that,” said Matthews, who was 12 of 23 overall from the field. “I was [upset] and I was disappointed with the way I was playing and I felt I had a right to be that.
“I’m never one to shy away from the truth. Tonight felt great and we got a win, but I’ve got to do it again tomorrow. Not the exact same thing, but something like that.”