WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Dallas Mavericks got a game-high 25 points from Jason Terry and held off a late charge by the Washington Wizards for a 105-99 victory on Saturday that marked the team's fifth straight win.
Washington looked headed for a surprise win when a 19-foot jumper from Jordan Crawford capped an 8-0 Wizards run that tied the game at 97-97 with 1:36 left.
However, Tyson Chandler got the Mavericks back in front with a putback, while Dirk Nowitzki and Terry each drained a pair of free throws that gave Dallas a 103-97 lead with 37 seconds remaining.
"You're up nine in the fourth early, that's a situation where you kind of want to go up 15, ice your knees and get on the bus," Terry told reporters. "It didn't happen, but at the end of the day, we want wins."
The teams exchanged the lead 10 times in a back-and-forth second quarter before the Mavericks seized control with a 21-9 run, after calling a timeout with 5:36 remaining, and led 59-49 at halftime.
Chandler had a season-high 23 points and added 13 rebounds for a double-double, while John Wall, the top pick in last year's NBA Draft, paced the Wizards with 24 points.
"I wanted to come out tonight and make a statement," Chandler said. "I really wanted to get involved, because coming after the All-Star break, I know it's the stretch now here we've really got to get focused and make our playoff push."
The Wizards struggled at the free-throw line missing 10-of-16 opportunities.
"If we shoot free throws we win the game, it's pretty point blank," Wizards coach Flip Saunders lamented.
The win moved the Mavericks (42-16) to within six games of the Western Conference-leading San Antonio Spurs, while the Wizards (15-43), losers of five straight, are second last in the Eastern Conference.
(Reporting by Mike Mouat in Windsor, Ontario; Editing by John O'Brien)