Mavericks avoid season sweep, prevail late over Phoenix Suns: By the Numbers
Apr 9, 2015, 4:56 AM | Updated: 7:27 am
The Phoenix Suns quickly erased any memories of their dismal offensive effort in Atlanta, but their performance Wednesday night still wasn’t quite good enough for a win.
Taking on the Dallas Mavericks at the American Airlines Center, Phoenix scored early and often, leading for most of the first half before the game started to go back and forth in the final two quarters.
The two teams went into the fourth period tied at 85, but Dallas was able to make the bigger plays down the stretch. Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki hit a wide-open, crucial three-pointer with about 23 seconds left to give Dallas a four-point lead, its largest advantage of the whole night.
Phoenix’s Markieff Morris took a couple of desperation three-point attempts in the closing seconds that didn’t come close, and Dallas held on for a 107-104 win. The Mavericks narrowly avoided getting swept by Phoenix in the four-game season series, improving to 47-31, the seventh-best mark in the Western Conference.
Here’s a look at Wednesday’s tight game in Dallas, by the numbers:
Morris had a surprising seven assists in the contest, tying a game-high — shared by Dallas’ Rajon Rondo. Morris raced out to 15 points in the first half, finishing with 19 on 7-of-16 shooting, to go along with six rebounds. The fourth-year forward had a pretty strong season series against the Mavericks, finishing with averages of 17.3 points, 8.3 rebounds and 3.8 assists in four games.
Suns rookie T.J. Warren bounced back from a quiet couple of games to contribute 10 points off the bench in 24 minutes. The small forward added two rebounds, two assists, two steals and a block in the loss.
Marcus Morris quietly notched the fifth double-double of his career, posting 10 rebounds and 12 points on 5-of-9 shooting — also tallying four assists and two steals in 34 minutes. Former Maverick Brandan Wright also flirted with a double-double for the Suns, recording nine points and eight rebounds in 37 minutes at center in place of the injured Alex Len.
Mavericks center Tyson Chandler ripped down a whopping 23 rebounds on the night in 34 minutes, including an impressive nine boards on the offensive end. Chandler helped Dallas win the rebound battle 47-37 on the evening. The Mavs also dominated Phoenix in the paint, to the tune of 66-44. Chandler was also one of six Mavericks to reach double-figures in points Wednesday, as he scored 12; the Suns had five players reach the mark.
Gerald Green tried as he might to get the Suns the victory. He shot his way to 18 points in the first half and ended up with a season-high 30; the veteran swingman made 10-of-19 attempts, including 5-of-10 from long range along the way. With the loss, the Suns fell to a still-impressive 7-2 when Green reaches 20 points or better.
Gerald Green shows off his explosiveness on ESPN! #NBARapidReplay http://t.co/WX7tppNNIb
— NBA (@NBA) April 9, 2015
The streaky second-year Sun has been playing better of late, reaching double-figures in points in five of his last six outings, including 15 or more points in each of his last three.
The Suns were shooting better than 50 percent for most of the evening, but some late misses dropped their overall percentage to 48.8 — still much better than Tuesday’s 31.3 percent effort in Atlanta. Dallas went 47.9 percent from the field, but attempted 12 additional shots, thanks in part to 15 offensive rebounds.
Phoenix dropped an impressive 63 points in the first half — with Green and Markieff Morris combining for 33 — taking a four-point lead into the break. The first-half effort was nearly equal to the team’s entire output the night before in Atlanta.
The Suns’ final score marked just their second time reaching 100 points in their last nine games. The last time Phoenix reached the century mark was last Thursday at Golden State, which was also a loss. Jeff Hornacek’s group has lost seven of its last eight overall.
Phoenix fell to 38-39, its first time under .500 since the morning of Dec. 20, right before winning in New York. Five days earlier, the Suns came up short to Milwaukee at home, dropping to a season-worst two games under .500 (12-14).