DALLAS – Rookie point guard John Wall had 21 points and nine assists, Lester Hudson hit the go-ahead 3-pointer with 2.5 seconds remaining, and the Washington Wizards held on to beat the Dallas Mavericks 97-94 on Tuesday night in the preseason opener for both teams.
Wall, the former Kentucky star who was the No. 1 pick in the draft, displayed speed and passing skills, offering hope he can help the Wizards improve on last season's 26-56 record.
Fellow backcourt starter Gilbert Arenas scored 12 points in 26 minutes after being limited in training camp by a sprained right ankle.
Andray Blatche led the Wizards with 22 points. Jason Terry scored 15 points and Dirk Nowitzki 11 for the Mavericks.
Washington led 94-80 with 5:01 left, but Dallas' reserves went on a 14-0 run, capped by Dominique Jones' 19-footer with 16 seconds left to tie it at 94.
The Wizards held the ball for a late shot and Hudson swished his 3-pointer from the top of the key to put Washington back ahead. Adam Haluska's desperation 3-pointer fell short at the buzzer for Dallas.
Josh Howard, traded by the Mavericks to the Wizards in February in a deal that brought Caron Butler, Brendan Haywood and DeShawn Stevenson to Dallas, is recovering from knee surgery and did not play.