Notebook: Suns 102, Mavericks 91



Posted Apr 11, 2013 12:30 AM

Dave Ivey, for NBA.com

THE FACTS: The Phoenix Suns halted a 10-game losing streak, ended a six-year drought in Dallas and crushed the Dallas Mavericks' faint playoff hopes with a 102-91 victory Wednesday at the American Airlines Center.

Double-doubles by Goran Dragic (21 points, 13 assists), Luis Scola (11 points, 15 rebounds) and P.J. Tucker (17 points, 10 boards) and a season-high seven blocks by Jermaine O'Neal gave the 14-point underdog Suns (24-55) their first win since March 18, their first road victory since Feb. 27 and their first triumph in Dallas since March 14, 2007.

For the Mavericks (38-40) to somehow claim the eighth seed in the Western Conference, they would have to win their last four games and both the Los Angeles Lakers and the Utah Jazz would have to lose the remainder of their games. The Lakers defeated the Trail Blazers on Wednesday night, so the Mavs will miss the playoffs for the first time since 2000.

QUOTABLE: "I thought we moved the ball really well. We shared the ball. We made the right plays ... Everybody played well that played."
-- Suns coach Lindsey Hunter

THE STAT: Phoenix came in averaging 5.7 made 3-pointers. The Suns were 9-for-16 in the first half and 12-for-27 for the game from behind the arc.

TURNING POINT: Dallas wiped out a 13-point deficit in the first half and erased a 14-point hole early in the second half, but the third time was the charm for Phoenix. The Suns opened up an 85-71 lead in the fourth quarter. Dallas pulled to within 93-89 on a jumper by Dirk Nowitzki with 2:03 to play. Tucker answered with a putback and then drained the dagger 3-pointer with 1:01 remaining.

QUOTABLE II: "It's disappointing because it was just another opportunity lost to get back to even, as far as our record. We're just not good enough from start to finish. ... Dragic was the best player on the floor. He shredded us from the start of the game to the end."
-- Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle

HOT: During the first half, the Suns' starting backcourt of Dragic and Wesley Johnson were a combined 13-for-17 (6-for-8 from 3-point range) for 33 points, 10 assists, five rebounds, two steals and just two turnovers.

NOT: The Suns shot 23.8 percent (5-for-21) and the Mavericks shot 27.3 percent (6-for-22) during a brick-filled fourth quarter. ... Nowitzki was 4-for-4 from the field in the second quarter, but 2-for-14 the rest of the night.

BAD MOVE: Dallas had a chance to reach the .500 mark for the first time since it was 11-11 on Dec. 12. That would have allowed Nowitzki (21 points, eight rebounds), Vince Carter (18 points), O.J. Mayo (2-for-10 with four turnovers), Chris Kaman (1-for-6) to shave the beards they have been growing since early February. They pledged to keep the caveman look until the team reached .500.

FANTASY SPOTLIGHT: Mavericks forward Shawn Marion finished with team highs in points (22), rebounds (nine) and steals (three) against his former team. He has scored 20-plus points in three consecutive games for the first time since February 2007.

ROOKIE WATCH: Dallas guard Josh Akognon, signed to a 10-day contract on April 3, scored his first NBA points with a second-quarter jumper.

NOTABLE: Dallas had won 10 straight against Phoenix at home. ... Mavericks forward Elton Brand missed his fourth game with a right calf injury. ... Suns forward Michael Beasley missed his second game to be with his newborn daughter and is expected to rejoin the team Saturday in Minnesota. ... Nowitzki (24,968) needs 32 points to become the 17th player in NBA history with 25,000 points. ... Brandan Wright had five blocks for the Mavericks. ... Carter has made at least one 3-pointer in a career-best 21 consecutive games.

UP NEXT: For the Mavericks, Friday vs. Denver, Sunday @ New Orleans, Monday vs. Memphis. For the Suns, Saturday @ Minnesota, Monday vs. Houston, Wednesday @ Denver.