Final: Mavs 104, Suns 94
Box Score | Highlights
Behind the Box Score
The Mavs had an offensive explosion in the third quarter, outscoring Phoenix 31-15, including a 20-4 blitz to end the frame. Dallas shot 81.3 percent from the field in the third and scored 1.722 points per possession. That is insane stuff. Chandler Parsons led the way with 8 points on 3 of 4 shooting, but no Maverick shot worse than 66.7 percent from the field during that quarter.
After Rick Carlisle publicly aired his displeasure with the Mavs’ intensity level early in games the last couple weeks, Dallas responded rather well in the first quarter against Phoenix. Dallas forced 4 deflections in the first quarter alone and allowed just 0.84 points per possession in the opening frame, shooting 50 percent on the other end to take a 25-21 lead after one. The team’s six turnovers kept the score lower than it could have been, however.
After struggling through a few poor shooting nights as of late, Chandler Parsons absolutely exploded in this game. He finished with 17 points on 5 of 10 shooting, including converting a rare 4-point play to in part quell a fourth-quarter Suns run. When he’s on, Parsons is perhaps the most important player in the Mavs’ offense, as he’s got good size, good dribbling and playmaking ability, and he’s an excellent spot-up shooter. Every facet of his offensive game was on display against the Suns, particularly in the second half. That’s a terrific sign moving forward.
One game after recording the second triple-double of his career, Raymond Felton was on fire yet again. He didn’t finish with the same high level of boards and dimes, but he made a hugely positive contribution with his hot shooting, finishing with 17 points on 6 of 11 shooting. In combination with the Mavs’ perimeter shooters and of course the mid-range heroics of Dirk Nowitzki, Felton is such a talented offensive player. He’s quick enough to drive to the basket and strong enough off the bounce to generate offense in tight spaces via drive or pull-up.
Nowitzki got off to a very spirited start in the third quarter. He crashed the offensive glass on two possessions in a row early in the frame, and his tips on the rebounds led to consecutive second chances for the Mavericks via Zaza Pachulia’s boards. A few minutes later, he hit a one-legged fade and then a running baby hook shot, prompting Phoenix defenders to begin worrying about No. 41. The next trip down, two defenders flew at him on the wing, so he swung it to a wide-open Wesley Matthews in the corner for 3. When he has it going, the Mavericks make offense look so easy.
Devin Harris was absolutely electric, especially on the defensive end. He had 5 steals in the first half alone, triggering many Dallas fast breaks and getting under the skin of Suns at multiple positions. When Harris is at his best, he’s forcing deflections, getting steals, taking charges, hitting jump shots, and speeding through the open floor. He played at that level in this one.
The Mavs were very Deron Williams-centric in the first half, one game after the point guard sat out due to a stomach ailment. Williams showed why Dallas missed him so much against Washington, as he can get a good shot almost whenever he wants to, whether it’s from driving to the basket, posting up a smaller player, or shooting from the outside. He’s very versatile for his position, and even though he might lack the top-end speed and quickness that some younger guards possess, there’s no doubt that Williams has as much, if not more, talent than most 1s in the NBA.
The Mavs (14-11) play the Indiana Pacers (14-9) Wednesday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Tip-off is at 6 p.m. Central.