MAVERICKS (40-28) AT SUNS (27-39)
Time: 8 p.m.
TV: ESPN & Fox Sports Southwest.
Radio: ESPN 103.3 FM; Univision 1270 AM (Spanish)
About the Mavs: They should be eager to get the taste out of their mouths from Game 1 of the restart. They blew a seven-point lead in the final 45 seconds of regulation and lost in overtime to the Rockets 153-149. While defense was optional for much of that game, the Mavericks scored just eight points in the final six minutes of the fourth quarter as Houston forced OT . . . The Mavericks have split two meetings with the Suns so far this season, both teams winning on the other’s home floor. The Mavericks were waxed 133-104 in Dallas on Jan. 28. They won a game in Phoenix in late November . . . Kristaps Porzingis had 39 points and 16 rebounds in the Rockets’ game, but could have more resistance from a bigger Suns team. “He did a lot of great things,” coach Rick Carlisle said of Porzingis. “I liked his activity when he was deep in the paint. He drew fouls. He finished. We just need him to continue what he’s doing.” . . . Luka Doncic, Tim Hardaway Jr. and Trey Burke all had 24 or more points in the Houston game, although Doncic lamented hitting just 1-of-9 3-pointers. The rest of the Mavericks were 20-of-40 from beyond the arc . . . The Mavericks are seventh in the Western Conference. They have 28 losses. Three teams in front of them, Oklahoma City, Utah and Houston, all have 24 losses, which means it will be challenging to overhaul any of them in the standings with only seven games left . . . The Mavericks are favored by 5½ points over the Suns.
About the Suns: They are trying to keep slim hopes for the playoffs alive and got off to a good start when they whipped Washington 125-112 on Friday in their first game of the restart. They got huge showings from guard Devin Booker (27 points, five rebounds, four assists) and big man Deandre Ayton (24 points, 12 rebounds). The Suns shot 52.5 percent from the field in that game and hit 30 of their 32 free throws (93.8 percent). The Mavericks do not need to get into a free-throw contest with the Suns, who lead the league at nearly 83 percent for the season . . . Forward Kelly Oubre, their third-leading scorer, did not play in the Friday game because of knee problem and he is listed as day-to-day . . . The Mavericks have had trouble with Booker on several occasions. In the Suns’ win at Dallas in January, Booker had 32 points and nine assists. Ayton was equally troublesome with 31 points and nine rebounds. Both of them scored more than a point per minute played in the blowout win . . . The Suns would have to leapfrog four teams to get into the play-in series between the Nos. 8 and 9 seeds, but they only trail Portland (currently ninth) by 2 ½ games . . . The Suns are not a great defensive team and give up nearly 37 percent shooting from 3-point range, 23rd in the league. The Mavericks no doubt will be trying to exploit that.
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