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Game Recap: Suns too Hot as Mavericks Fizzle, 112-106

The Phoenix Suns have seen a fall from grace since there 14-3 start (they have gone 12-8 most recently).  Long gone are the days where the Suns and Mavericks looked like they were on equal footing in the West.  

Dallas comes in riding a two game win streak and surely all Mavericks fans are hoping that it doesn’t take a late miss by the opposing team to give the Mavericks the victory.  In addition, the Mavericks are still adjusting to Terry’s insertion into the starting lineup.

Which Maverick team do we get tonight?  

Game as a Whole:

The winningest road team in the Western Conference can’t pull out a win in Phoenix ands the bench was the Mavericks undoing.  Allowing the Phoenix 2nd string to drop 42 points is a sign that you aren't in for a good night but it wasn’t just the amount of points scored by Phoenix that was alarming, it was the Mavericks inability to score when it really mattered. 

Jason Terry’s quote at halftime was seemingly the Mavericks kiss of death.  I am unsure if Phoenix saw that in the locker room but they turned up the defensive pressure so much so that the Mavericks couldn’t toss the ball into the ocean during the fourth quarter.  Couple that with the Suns continuously running the pick and roll and you have a recipe for disaster. 

Let’s look at the quarters…

1st Quarter:
  • We join the Phoenix game with 5:25 left in the game.  Thank you Magic and Celtics for taking so many timeouts at the end of the game.
  • Phoenix Suns still cannot play defense, nothing really new here.  Dallas is shooting 67% percent from the field. 
  • Interesting how Amare is starting at center for the West and yet he doesn’t even play center for his team. 
  • 3:50, Shawn Marion grabs an offensive rebound (5 points for him) and that gives the Mavericks 12 points in the paint. 
  • 3:00, Kidd with the three, if the Mavericks keep this up it’s going to be like the Knicks game. 
  • 2:27, Phoenix goes to a zone to slow Dallas down, Kidd makes another three against it due to crisp passing. 
  • 1:27, Shawn Marion completely gives up on securing a defensive rebound, the result, a Jason Richardson basket.
  • Steve Nash is having a bad night.  I am unsure if Nash is just in a funk tonight or if the Maverick's point guard play is just razor sharp tonight. 
  • Dallas has come out with something to prove tonight; maybe they don’t want to go for the 11th one point win.
2nd Quarter:
  • Rick likes Jason Terry because "he gets it going early".  He also thinks they can do better at defending the 3 point line (I concur).
  • What does that say about your team when your second unit is better defensively than your first unit?  Defense wins you games, don’t you start with that?
  • Beaubois gets some more playing time.  Carlisle seems to like the second rotation of Beaubois and Barea together. 
  • 10:40, More offensive rebounds for the Mavericks.  They took three shots on that trip down the floor. 
  • Seems that the whole team is really trying to work it into Drew Gooden in the post.  He is touching the ball on every possession right now. 
  • 9:12, First turnover for the Mavericks.  Phoenix is being super-sloppy with the ball.
  • Beaubois blows a defensive play, truth be told it was a hard block to make, but comes back and scores a bucket.  That makes him all square in my book.
  • Three fouls sends Beaubois to the bench, see you sometime in the late third quarter. 
  • It’s very interesting to see that Phoenix is playing better without Nash right now.
  • 5:21, Terry is at home in the starting lineup, nails the open three pointer.
  • Question: Who would you rather have at this point in the season, Gortat or Gooden?
  • 4:32, Marion refused to get dunked on by Amare.  Sends him to the line instead. 
  • 3:17, Marion give Nowitzki way too hard of a pass under the basket.  Dirk was very lucky to gather that ball for a shot. 
  • Phoenix relied on the pick and roll to keep them in the game.  Look for a defensive adjustment in the next quarter. 
  • Jason Terry ends the quarter by saying "their not very good defensively". 
3rd Quarter:
  • Suns miss their first shot, great defense by Nowitzki.
  • I don’t know how Phoenix is within 2 points. 
  • 10:33, Touch pass from Erick Dampier (weird right) leads to a Kidd three. 
  • Marion’s 11th three point shot of the year is a brick.  Amare decides to take advantage on the other end and take it right at the basket. 
  • 9:12, Dirk ratchets up the game and hits a short jumper.  He is currently 4 of 8.
  • Mavericks and Suns are just trading baskets right now as Dallas clings to a one-point lead.
  • Shawn Marion is playing Grant Hill who has done nothing tonight whereas Kidd is playing Richardson.  Seems like your best defender should be on a guy that is scoring buckets. 
  • 3 minutes of sloppy basketball from both ends. 
  • Trying to force the ball to Nowitzki has equated to 0 points for Dallas.  On a side note, Beaubois is not back in and probably won’t return since the game is close.
  • 2:17, Gooden hits a long jumper from the corner and gives the Mavericks a 5-point lead.
  • Nowitzki couldn’t buy a bucket in the paint earlier.  Now he is just getting straight fouled every trip. 
  • Amare Stoudemire(sorry for the slip up), 126 turnovers to 48 assists.  That doesn’t sound so great.
  • Someone please teach me the Spanish phrase for "buzzer beater".  Barea hits the clutch basket to end the quarter. 
4th Quarter:
  • Howard starts the quarter with a big shot.  Follows it up with a miss. 
  • Two threes for the Suns and they are now only down two with Steve Nash on the bench.  
  • 8:43, The Mavericks are now trying to run time off the clock.  Drew Gooden gets a lucky tip in by Phoenix to give Dallas a 6-point lead.
  • 7:24. Barea exploits the weak side for an easy basket in the lane.  Jared Dudley could only watch. 
  • 5:23, Dallas is now down one and they respond with Gooden fouling out.
  • 4:33, Push in the back on Dirk and Phoenix goes up by four.  
  • Dallas looks completely ineffective on the offensive end in a complete role reversal for the teams.
  • 3:16, Vintage Steve Nash, he drills a three late for the Suns.
  • 2:45, Barea with the step back jumper. 
  • 11 consecutive free throws for the Mavericks, they are going to need all the points. 
  • Jared Dudley steal ends the Mav's hopes of winning the game

Some Choice Statistics:

  • Mavericks have the best road record in the Western Conference (it’s better than their home record).
  • Mavericks have 0 turnovers in the 1st quarter. 
  • Dirk passes Brad Davis (884) for most games played in franchise history. 

Closing Thoughts:

Gooden fouling out late in the fourth quarter hurt the Mavericks ability to defend and only hastened their spiral into defeat.  Josh Howard is now an offensive liability due to the way he is forcing his game.  Losing the late game really makes for a crappy night.