The Dallas Mavericks(15-11) travel to face the Phoenix Suns(15-10) today at 8pm CT. Both teams played yesterday and each were involved in games where large leads weren’t safe.
While the Mavericks fell to the Toronto Raptors in over time after blowing an early 41-22 lead, the Suns were rallying from a 21 point deficit to beat the Denver Nuggets.
Though both teams played in contested games, the Mavericks’ legs will be tested today. Dirk Nowitzki (43), Monta Ellis (46), Jose Calderon(37), and Shawn Marion(41) all played heavy minutes. Nowitzki when asked if he ran out of gas,
Yes, a little bit…It was a long stretch there, starting already in the third quarter,But obviously it’s a close game. You don’t want to get out of there in the fourth, not knowing that it was going to go to overtime, either. But it is what it is. I’ve got to make that last turnaround
The loss to Toronto marked the first overtime game the Mavericks have played and the first loss(2-1)when Ellis records a double double (21pts, 11 assists).
Calderon , who is coming off one of his better game as a Maverick with 23 pts (8-13), 7 3-pointers, and 9 assists will have his defense tested once again when matching up against the athletic and speedy Eric Bledsoe (19ppg, 6apg) and crafty Goran Dragic (18.7ppg, 6apg).
Vince Carter went scoreless and had 6 turnovers last night after seeing his numbers increase the previous two games. It will be important for the bench to contribute to relieve the burden on the starters. Brandan Wright (13pts) was the only reserve to score over 5 points and play more than 18 minutes (26) against the Raptors.
The Mavericks also must cut down on the turnovers as they are facing a team with plenty of speed and athleticism. The Mavericks committed 17 turnovers and allowed 32 points off of those turnovers last night.
The surging Suns have won 6 of their last 7 games, but are just 1-4 at the end of back-to-backs.
The Mavericks are 4-3 at the end of back-to-backs and begin a stretch in which they play 5 of the next 6 games on the road.
Yesterday’s collapse may have cost the Mavericks more than just one game and an opportunity to move up in the standings.