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Sun Sets on Dallas Mavericks’ Season In Loss to Phoenix, 124-97

DALLAS, TX - APRIL 10: Dirk Nowitzki #41 of the Dallas Mavericks speaks at a press conference prior to the game against the Phoenix Suns announcing that he will return next season on April 10, 2018 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Danny Bollinger/NBAE via Getty Images)
DALLAS, TX - APRIL 10: Dirk Nowitzki #41 of the Dallas Mavericks speaks at a press conference prior to the game against the Phoenix Suns announcing that he will return next season on April 10, 2018 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Danny Bollinger/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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The Dallas Mavericks dropped the final game of the season to the Phoenix Suns, 124-97. In the process, Dallas secures the third best odds (tied with ATL and potentially ORL) in the upcoming 2018 NBA Draft.

Alec Peters who?

The Suns rookie exploded for a Curry-esque line of 36 points and 9 rebounds on 8-13 shooting from beyond the arc in just 28 minutes. Not bad for a second round pick who averaged 2.4 points in just 19 prior NBA appearances.

As a team, Phoenix shot an outrageous 63.2% from the field en route to having five others in double figures (Bender, House, S. Harrison, Len, Ulis).

Surprisingly enough, the Mavericks entered halftime with a 54-44 lead. However, Dallas could not find an answer to the Suns scorching shooting in the second half, giving up 80 points following intermission.

For the Mavericks, rookie Johnathan Motley led the team with 21 points on 9-19 shooting. In an impressive display of stamina, late season signee Andrew Harrison logged all 48 minutes and pitched in 16 points and 4 rebounds.

Other nightly notables include Dallas native Jalen Jones with 15 points and 5 rebounds and Dorian Finney-Smith with 14 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists.

With the loss, the Mavericks finish the season at 24-58. Courtesy of their record (tied with Atlanta and potentially Orlando), Dallas will hold the third best odds at the lottery pick in the upcoming NBA draft.

Looking Ahead…To Next Season

Peters’ outburst was a fitting ending to a Mavericks’ season that was in many ways, unpredictable. Entering the year, no one envisioned that Seth Curry would fail to suit up for a single game in his contract year or that Dallas would hold the worst clutch record in the entire league. Yet, miraculously through it all, the disappointing season may turn out for the best.

Despite a plethora of injuries and lack of star power, Dallas has played a year of meaningful, competitive basketball. The team’s -2.7 per-game point differential is by far the best mark among “tanking teams” and indicative of the grit woven into the Maverick identity.

Given the development of our tenacious youngsters, the promise of a top-3 pick in the upcoming draft and the potential of key offseason additions, it is easy to be optimistic about what will be Dirk’s 21st, and perhaps last, season in the NBA. The Maverick legend announced prior to the game against Phoenix that he will in fact, lace up his sneakers next year.

Next: Three Draft Prospects Getting Slept on in Mock Drafts

MFFLs, be sure to stay tuned in to the Smoking Cuban for continued offseason coverage on the NBA Draft and free agency. Don’t miss a beat on the latest news, signings and speculation surrounding the Dallas Mavericks as the team gears up to give the Big German another shot at playoff glory.

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