Mavericks Stellar Shooting Halts Losing Streak, Topping Suns 113–108
Nowitzki’s rare dunk energizes Mavericks, winning in Mexico City
After an ugly three-game stretch, the Dallas Mavericks (12–27) earned their 12th win of the season over the Phoenix Suns (12–27) in Mexico City by relying on their 3-point shooting.
Inserting Seth Curry into the starting lineup helped the Mavericks get off to a hot start. Both teams would start out with great shooting, as Curry would lead the Mavericks with 9 points off of 3/3 from three-point range in the first quarter, while rookie Marquese Chriss would score 11 points in the opening quarter for Phoenix. Despite the Mavs making 11 of their first 12 shots, after a Dragan Bender three the Mavericks would lead only by 3 at the end of the first quarter, 32–29.
Phoenix would run out their bench to start the second quarter as 13-year veteran Leandro Barbosa would make consecutive baskets to put the Suns in front 33–32. Dirk Nowitzki would re-enter the game answering with a dunk, (yes a dunk) putting the Mavericks back in front.
Making 12 of 13 free throws in the second quarter, Phoenix would lead the Mavericks at the half, 59–57.
Deron Williams, coming off of a rough stretch of basketball the past few games, redeemed himself, with 15 first-half points and 7 assists to pace the Maverick offense. Harrison Barnes not far behind with 13 points of his own. Chriss led Phoenix with 13 points, while former Maverick Tyson Chandler had a double-double 10 points and 11 rebounds in the half.
Jumping out to another great start in the third quarter, Dallas would lean on their three-point shooting to regain the lead. Making 7 of their first 10 shots in the third quarter, including 5 of 7 from three-point range. Williams and Nowitzki would drain consecutive three pointers, followed by Wesley Matthews adding one of his own, capping a 19–4 run.
With Phoenix facing their largest deficit of the game, the Phoenix bench would keep the Suns in the game with jumpers by P.J. Tucker and Brandon Knight to bring the deficit back to 10. However, with their starters on the bench, Phoenix was outscored 31–17 in the third quarter, as the Mavericks would take a 88–76 lead to enter the final quarter.
Quiet most of the night, the fourth quarter became the Devin Booker show. Booker would open with a three, one of his 4 threes in the quarter, to keep Phoenix in the game with 28 points in the final quarter.
Dallas would combat Booker’s onslaught with back-to-back threes by Matthews to expand the Mavericks lead to 105–94 with 3:25 remaining in the quarter.
Booker would cut into the lead once again, with a layup and-one, followed by a couple of free throws, inching Phoenix to within 6, 105–99 with 2:10 left.
Having taken only one shot since the first quarter, Curry would drain a corner three to give the Mavericks a ten-point lead with under a minute left. Booker would score another seven points in the last 45 seconds, however, the Mavericks would come out on top, defeating the Suns 113–108.
Getting it Done Behind The Arc
Dallas won this game from the three-point line. Other than Barnes, every starter made at least 3 threes, with Williams and Matthews combining to make 8 of 13 from deep. The Mavericks shot less free throws, were outrebounded by 15, however, the 15 Dallas threes helped lift the Mavericks to a victory that was desperately needed.
Insertion of Curry Spaces The Floor
Curry’s presence on the floor created spacing issues for the Phoenix defense who had to cover five 3-point shooters with a rim protector at their center position in Chandler.
It will be interesting to see if Rick Carlisle chooses to go with this lineup against other high scoring teams as it could create matchup issues for opposing defenses.
Dallas was led in scoring by Williams, finishing with 23 points and 12 assists, on an efficient 9 of 15 from the field and 4 of 5 from 3-point range. Barnes finished right behind with 22 points, 5 assists and 4 rebounds. While, Nowitzki and Matthews each finished with 18 apiece.
Dallas had 6 players in double-figures on the night and 4 players with at least 5 assists.
For Phoenix, Booker dominated with a game-high 39 points, 14 of 20 from the field and 6 of 7 from 3-point range, however, he had 7 of their 19 turnovers.
Chandler followed up an 18 rebound effort versus Dallas a week prior with 19 rebounds and 14 points. The Mavericks held star point-guard Eric Bledsoe to 11 points, 5 assists, and 6 rebounds.
This win is a huge step in the right direction for Dallas, after a disappoint stretch of terrible shooting, the Mavericks shot 48.3% from the field and 44.1% from 3-point range.
Dallas will have two days off, before hosting the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday. Minnesota leads the season series 1–0 after their 101–92 victory over Dallas on Monday.
Tip off is at 1:00pm CT, the game is available on Fox Sports Southwest or NBA League Pass. (Time is due to avoid conflict with Cowboys game)
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