LOW ENERGY: The Mavs will be the first to tell you that the NBA is a “no excuses” league. Thus, the Mavs won’t offer any for what happened to them on Tuesday night against the Suns. Coach Rick Carlisle said: “We just didn’t have much juice.” The Mavs were on the second night of a back-to-back, and  were playing their fourth game in six days, in four cities and three time zones. But the Mavs know all teams go through wild travel excursions. That’s life in the NBA, and it often comes with a high price. Unfortunately, the Mavs paid that high price on Tuesday.

THIRD QUARTER MELTDOWN: That “where did that come from” third quarter wasn’t a pretty sight for the Mavs. Phoenix outscored the Mavs, 48-22. That’s the most points the Mavs have ever allowed in any quarter in franchise history. In those dreadful 12 minutes, the Suns were 18-of-26 from the field, 5-of-8 from the 3-point line and 7-of-7 from the charity stripe. They also outrebounded the Mavs in the third quarter, 11-3, and flipped five Dallas turnovers into nine points, while not committing any turnovers themselves during that horrific meltdown.

DEVIN BOOKER STRIKES AGAIN: Once again Devin Booker had one of those magical nights against the Mavs. The fifth-year shooting guard poured in a game-high 32 points on 12-of-20 shots in only 31 minutes. He also collected six rebounds, nine assists and two steals, and was 2-of-4 from behind the 3-point arc. Booker scored 20 points during the Suns’ massive third quarter explosion on 7-of-9 shooting. The ex-Kentucky Wildcat who seemingly always torments the Mavs just got into one of those red-hot zones and the Mavs couldn’t slow him down.

ONE OF THOSE NIGHTS: You ever wonder what would happen if everything goes wrong for your team and everything goes right for the other team? That theory played out on a Tuesday night that didn’t end well for the Mavs. The 133 points Phoenix scored were the most the Mavs have allowed this season as their defense wasn’t solid enough. And the 104 points the Mavs scored were their eighth-lowest offensive output of the season. The Suns exacerbated the situation by shooting a season-high 59.3 percent from the field, and by also making 12 of their 28 attempts from 3-point territory.

WHO DAT TEAM?: To a man, the Mavs didn’t recognize the team that turned the ball over 17 times. Ironically, the Mavs entered the game turning the ball over just nine times in each of their previous three games.  “We just didn’t look good as a team,” coach Rick Carlisle said. Point guard Luka Doncic concurred after the Mavs saw the pass-happy Suns rack up 34 assists on their 51 field goals and also forced the Mavs into missing 26 of their 33 shots from 3-point territory. “We just played a bad game – really bad game,” Doncic said. “That wasn’t us, so we got to forget about this game and move on.”

Twitter: @DwainPrice

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