Dallas, which played without three of its four top scorers from last season -- reigning MVP Dirk Nowitzki, point guard Jason Terry and swingman Jerry Stackhouse -- hardly resembled a team that won an NBA-best 67 games in the regular season. Nowitzki, Terry and Stackhouse were rested by coach Avery Johnson.
Washington, which took a 59-58 lead when Blatche hit two free throws with 3:22 to play in the third quarter, expanded its lead in the fourth quarter when coach Eddie Jordan made liberal use of his bench. After Dallas' Maurice Ager scored on a layup to cut the Washington lead to 67-66 with 10:05 to play, the Wizards scored 11 straight points to take a 78-66 lead with 6:14 to play.
Ager scored 11 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter, leading a late Dallas run. Jared Newson hit two free throws with 11.3 seconds remaining to cut Washington's lead to 88-86. Dallas is 1-2 in the preseason.
The Wizards (2-0) shot 43 free throws, missing 14 of them. The Mavericks converted 25 of their 30 as the teams combined to commit 51 fouls.
Gilbert Arenas, in his second game after undergoing left knee surgery last April, played 17 minutes and had six points. He played 21 minutes and had nine points in his first game on Tuesday.
Brendan Haywood had 10 first-quarter points, but didn't play again.