At this stage a victory is a victory, even if it isn’t the Lakers. The Pistons or the Suns will do….
The beginning of the Dallas Mavericks game Thursday night’s against the Phoenix Suns looked all too familiar as the Mavs fell behind quickly by ten. They rallied to tie the game by the second quarter and trailed at halftime only by 4.
Dallas took over in the 3rd quarter behind O. J. Mayo and Chris Kaman and Shawn Marion and opened up a 13-point lead while the Suns went cold.
Maintaining an 81-71 lead with 5:40 left, the turnover bug bit again and helped the Suns go on a 16-6 run to tie the game. The Mavs were able to add one more basket and Phoenix couldn’t respond, leading to the final outcome of 97-94.
Phoenix got a career night from Markief Morris who scored 15 points and grabbed 17 rebounds. Luis Scola had 13 and 9 as Phoenix also had five players in double figures.
It was an “on” night for O. J. Mayo, who had a good game and a complete game, with 23 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists.
Brandan Wright, getting significant minutes for the first time in several games, played his best game of the season filling in for Chris Kaman and Shawn Marion, who left early with injuries. Wright had 16 points on 8-of-12 shooting, 4 rebounds, 2 blocks and 2 steals. Mighty fine.
Chris Kaman (sprained ankle) and Shawn Marion (pulled groin) both had solid games going before leaving with injuries.
Darren Collison was aggressive and hit 3-of-6 but went to the line for 12 free thrown, hitting then of them.
The Mavs did outplay the Suns but not by much. A “W” is a “W” but even though the Mavs were solid in some important categories they usually get spanked in, the margin wasn’t by much.
Derek Fisher, Dahntay Jones and Jae Crowder didn’t get a single field goal out of only 6 attempts.
O. J. Mayo committed 6 turnovers and the team as a whole made 16. Yes it’s been worse but we need to do better.
When the Mavericks play well as a team without having to rely on ONLY Shawn Marion or ONLY Vince Carter, they can win and even overcome such things as the horrible lead loss toward the end of the game. It’s a building block but there is still much room for improvement as modest gains will not be enough for teams better than the Suns.
I’ve been clear that I think Brandan Wright has a significant role to play and he showed it again Thursday night. Now if Bernard James can get in the action as well.
The new look Houston Rockets will host the Mavericks Saturday night at the Toyota Center. Preview coming up on The Smoking Cuban.