Notebook: Mavericks 97, Suns 94

Posted Dec 7, 2012 2:34 AM

By Mike Tulumello, for

THE FACTS: The Phoenix Suns staged "money-back guarantee night" on Thursday.

On Friday, they may have to start handing out refund checks, as the visiting Dallas Mavericks sent the Suns to their fifth straight loss, 97-94.

The Mavericks ran up an 81-71 lead with 5:40 left, but turnovers by Vince Carter, O.J. Mayo and Darren Collison helped the Suns go on a 16-6 run to tie the game. A steal and two free throws by Shannon Brown made it 87-87, with 48.5 seconds left.

Then Mayo hit a tough, 20-foot fadeaway with 34.6 seconds left. The Suns' Goran Dragic then missed a layup, then Collison hit two free throws to all but wrap it up with 19.3 seconds left.

Mayo led the Mavericks (9-10) with 23 points. The Mavs got big bench play from Collison and Brandan Wright with 16 points each and Chris Kaman, who had 15 points and seven boards.

The Suns (7-13) got perhaps a career-best game from Markieff Morris, who had 15 points and a career-high 17 boards.

Dragic, who shot 5-for-14 for 15 points, said, "It's tough. It is always the same story. We came up short."

The Mavs' Shawn Marion suffered a groin strain.

"Groins can be tricky," he said. "They can be lingering, or, with treatment, you can deal with it."

QUOTABLE: "We played one of our strongest-willed games....A lot of heart, a lot of guts."
-- Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle, on his team, which played poorly the previous night at the Los Angeles Clippers, then lost an hour in the trip to Arizona afterward.

THE STAT: The Mavs' Collison, Kaman and Wright combined to score 47 points off the bench on just 30 shots from the floor.

TURNING POINT: The Mavericks whipped the sluggish Suns, 23-4, to start the second half and take a 63-48 lead. During the nearly nine-minute span, Kaman lit up Marcin Gortat while -- at the other end -- the Suns' Michael Beasley missed shots. The Suns managed to tie the game late, but never again led.

QUOTABLE II: "Our goal is to keep playing and turn our season around."
-- Suns coach Alvin Gentry

HOT: Wright shot 8-for-12.

NOT: Gortat shot 1-for-8. He drew boos when he failed to convert what appeared to be an easy lob-and-layup attempt.

GOOD MOVE: The Mavericks' decision to play Wright all but a few seconds of the final 16 minutes of the game.

BAD MOVE: The Suns' decision to play Beasley 21 minutes.

IN THE ARENA: Anyone who was dissatisfied with the game, without any questions, can redeem their ticket stub for a rebate equal to the purchase price of the ticket.

ROOKIE WATCH:The Mavericks' Jae Crowder had three rebounds in 14 minutes.

FANTASY SPOTLIGHT: Look for Beasley's days as a starter to come to an end. After signing a 3-year, $18-million deal, Beasley is now shooting 37 percent (27 percent on 3-pointers) and isn't faring better at the defensive end. "More than likely" Beasley will assume a reserve role, Gentry said. "We have to get more production out of that spot."

The obvious replacement would be P.J. Tucker, though Tucker sprained a knee against the Mavs.

Also, Gortat has gone south, shooting 5-for-21 in his last three games.

NOTABLE: Of the Suns' five straight losses, two have been by four points or fewer and one came in overtime.

UP NEXT: For the Mavericks, Saturday @ Houston, Monday vs. Sacramento and Wednesday @ Boston. For the Suns, Saturday @ L.A. Clippers, Sunday vs. Orlando and Wednesday vs Memphis.