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Notebook: Suns 96, Mavericks 94PHOENIX (AP)
THE FACTS: The Dallas Mavericks don't look like world champs these days.
The Mavericks got a chance for comfort Thursday night from a familiar source, rolling up a 12-point lead over the Phoenix Suns -- a team they'd beaten eight straight -- but they couldn't hold it.
The Suns roared back, then held on in the closing seconds for a 96-94 home win. That sent the Mavericks to their seventh loss in the past 10 games.
The Suns (18-21) won their sixth in the past eight. They also have won four straight at home, overcoming double-digit deficits in all of them.
They got 18 points and eight rebounds from Jared Dudley plus 16 points and 12 boards from Marcin Gortat.
For the Mavericks, Dirk Nowitzki shot 8-for-15 for 18 points and Vince Carter shot 8-for-21, also for 18.
The Mavericks ran up a 55-44 halftime lead and increased it to 72-60 on a Lamar Odom 3-pointer with 4:43 left in the third quarter.
Then the Suns, with Hakim Warrick joining the starters, sprinted off on an 18-4 run to close the quarter and take a 78-76 lead.
The Suns led 83-80 early in the final quarter when Warrick hit a pair of free throws, Sebastian Telfair nailed a 3-pointer and then Shannon Brown scored on a spectacular follow-slam to make it 90-80 with 7:30 left.
But with the Suns leading 96-94 in the closing seconds, Grant Hill missed two free throws. He'd also missed a shot that would have virtually wrapped it up, an uncontested layup with 4:13 left and the Suns leading 93-84.
The Mavericks' Rodrique Beaubois missed a runner in the lane with 5.6 seconds left, but the ball was knocked out of bounds back to the Mavericks. Beaubois missed an open 16-footer, and the Mavericks were done.
The Mavericks played the first of three straight; they visit the Sacramento Kings Friday night and Golden State Saturday night.
QUOTABLE: "This is definitely big for us. We've probably struggled against that team more than any other. They have a lot of guys who can make plays, are smart, and they know the game."
-- Jared Dudley on beating the Mavericks.
THE STAT: The Mavericks shot just 35 percent in the second half.
TURNING POINT: The Suns' 18-4 run at the end of the third quarter, which gave them a 78-76 lead heading into the final quarter. This was the Suns' first lead since the first quarter.
QUOTABLE II: "I gotta go with guys who perform. If he's going to be out there, he's got to perform."
-- Suns coach Alvin Gentry on the slumping Markief Morris.
FANTASY SPOTLIGHT: Channing Frye continued his slide. He shot 2-for-8, making him 12-for-47 over the past four games.
GOOD MOVE: Gentry replaced Frye in the second half with the energetic Warrick instead of the sleepy Morris. The game turned in the Suns' favor immediately.
BAD MOVE: That Gentry used Morris at all. Morris failed to score or grab a rebound in six minutes, though he did commit a 3-shot foul. Over the past six games, he's averaged 2.0 points on 4-for-26 shooting.
NOTABLE: Carter moved past Bob Pettit (20,880 points) for No. 32 all time. Pettit was the first NBA player to eclipse 20,000 points.
UP NEXT: For the Mavericks, Friday @ Sacramento, Saturday @ Golden State and Tuesday vs. Washington. For the Suns, Saturday vs. Memphis, Monday vs. Minnesota and Wednesday vs. Utah.
Copyright 2012 by STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited