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Suns Strokes: Eric Bledsoe’s triple-double powers Phoenix past Dallas Mavericks

See, the Phoenix Suns can win at home. They just need to face a quality opponent to do so.

After losing three in a row at US Airways Center –losses to Eastern Conference also-rans Miami, Detroit and Milwaukee — the Suns beat the Mavericks 124-115, adding Dallas to their list of impressive home victories. That resume already included wins over Golden State and San Antonio.

The win was the Suns’ fourth straight, tying a season-high.

Eric Bledsoe recorded his second career triple-double and second this month, with 16 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists.

Goran Dragic scored a game-high 25. Gerald Green added 22, Alex Len 17, PJ Tucker 15 and Isaiah Thomas 12 to put six players in double figures, including four of the five starters.

The Suns improved to 16-14, while evening their mark at home to 7-7.

THE GOOD

Green hit two of his three first-half 3-pointers during an 11-0 run in the first quarter. His second 3 gave the Suns their first lead of the game, 23-22 at 2:22.

Trailing 39-30, the Suns responded by outscoring the Mavericks 23-6 to close out the second quarter. It was a 19-6 Suns advantage the final 5:23, with all three point guards on the floor at the same time. Bledsoe, Dragic and Thomas accounted for 13 of the 19 points with Dragic scoring eight.

Not happy with his team’s play, head coach Jeff Hornacek called timeout 99 seconds into the third quarter. The Suns answered with six straight points, part of a larger 17-6 run that increased their lead to 15, 73-58 at 6:01. Len scored seven, including a two-handed put-back slam off a Bledsoe miss.

Again Hornacek used a timeout, this time at 3:54 of the third quarter after the Mavericks had pulled to within 10, 76-66. Following the 20-second timeout, Tucker went on a personal 6-0 run, including nailing one of his trademark corner 3s, to push the lead up to 16 at 2:32.

The Suns scored a season-high 124 points and scored 32 fast-break points. In two games against the Mavericks this season, the Suns are averaging 121 points and 29.5 fast-break points.

After missing 12 of their first 14 3-point attempts, the Suns made 11 of their final 19 (57.9 percent). Green had the hot hand, going 6-of-9. His six 3s tied a season high.

THE BAD

Picking up two fouls in 14 seconds sent Markieff Morris to the bench at 8:12 of the first quarter. He was first called for an offensive foul and then got caught reaching in. Marcus Morris replaced his twin brother in the lineup and finished the quarter with two points and three rebounds, including two offensive.

The Suns trailed for much of the first quarter, falling behind by as many as 10 points after the Mavericks went on a 9-0 run punctuated by a Charlie Villanueva 24-foot 3-pointer to give Dallas a 22-12 lead at 4:20.

The Suns opened the second quarter with 11 straight missed field goals plus a pair of missed free throws by Miles Plumlee. Green ended the drought with a 23-foot 3-pointer at 7:41, which pulled the Suns to within four, 32-28.

The Suns saw their double-digit lead whittled down to seven, 119-112, with 53.6 seconds remaining, as the Mavericks shot 63.2 percent (12-of-19) in the fourth quarter, scoring a season-best 41 points.

Dallas’ 115 points was the most points the Suns have allowed in the past eight games. Both Villanueva (18) and Tyson Chandler (22) registered season highs in points.

STAT OF THE GAME

16-10-11: Bledsoe’s final stat line, becoming the first Suns player with multiple triple-doubles in a season since Boris Diaw had four in the 2005-06 season.

HE SAID IT

“I was exhausted,” said Bledsoe, who grabbed his 10th rebound with 30.9 seconds to play, pushing aside Dragic in the process. “I was running around the basketball court like a chicken trying to find that last one. I credit my teammates.”

NOTED

The game was played in front of the first home sellout crowd (18,055) of the season

The Suns recorded their fifth comeback from a double-digit deficit over a playoff team from 2014

The Suns improved to 4-0 with the starting lineup of Bledsoe, Dragic, Tucker, Markieff Morris and Len

Bledsoe entered the game as one of just seven players in the NBA season to be averaging at least 15 points, five rebounds and five assists; the last Suns player to put up similar numbers for a season was Jason Kidd (16.9 points, 6.4 rebounds, 9.8 assists) in 2000-01

UP NEXT

The homestand was a brief one.

The Suns’ next four games are on the road, beginning with a trip to Sacramento to play the Kings on Friday, Dec. 26. Tip off is scheduled for 8 p.m. with pregame coverage beginning 30 minutes earlier on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM.

The Suns dropped the first meeting in Phoenix, losing 114-112 in double overtime. The Kings scored the game’s final six points, including the go-ahead turnaround jumper by Rudy Gay with 1:07 to play to put Sacramento ahead for good at 113-112.

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