DALLAS, TX—The Dallas Mavericks led at the end of each quarter vs the Phoenix Suns on Thursday night except for the one that mattered: the final one.
Five players finished in double figures in scoring, but it wasn’t enough as the Mavs (11-25) fell 102-95 to the Suns (12-25) in a battle of the struggling teams.
With the game tied at 93 with 2:24 left to play, a 7-0 Suns’ run behind 5 points from Eric Bledsoe’s helped put Phoenix ahead with just 23 seconds left in regulation. Bledsoe finished with a game-high 26 points to go along with 7 assists. Second year sophomore sensation Devin Booker added 22 points as the Suns won consecutive games for just the second time this season.
“They just made more plays than us on both ends,” Deron Williams told Mavs.com. “You know, they made shots, and Bledsoe was tough in that pick-and-roll making shots. You know, they made things tough on us all game defensively, and they did so down the stretch as well.”
The Mavs defeated the Suns in nearly every statistical category, but were simply outmatched on the boards, 53-31, behind a game-high 18 rebounds from former Dallas Mavericks fan favorite and 2011 NBA champion Tyson Chandler.
“Not good,” Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said. “And that’s a big factor obviously in the game and the outcome. You shoot better, but lose by seven. That’s one of the reasons.”
Following his controversial interview with Sky Sports Radio, center Andrew Bogut registered 0 points, 0 rebounds, and 5 personal fouls in just 20 minutes in his second straight game off the bench.
Harrison Barnes had another solid outing, finishing with 19 points, but had just five points in the second half after leading Dallas to a 45-41 lead at halftime. Point guard Deron Williams led the Mavericks with a team-high 20 points while Dirk Nowitzki added 13 points and 7 rebounds while playing 28 minutes, his most since returning from his Achilles’ injury.
With the loss, the Mavericks now own the worst record in the Western Conference and sit 4.5 games behind the eighth seeded Sacramento Kings.
The Mavericks take on the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday, January 7 at 7:30 p.m. CT at the American Airlines Center.