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4 fun thoughts from the Mavs' 104-94 win over the Suns

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A massive third quarter propels the Mavs to a fun win over a feisty Suns squad.

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Dallas welcomed Tyson Chandler back to the AAC tonight, along with his Phoenix Suns teammates. While Tyson came off the bench tonight (he's rehabbing a lingering hamstring injury), his team gave the Mavs a good fight tonight--until the Mavs just absolutely took over in the late 3rd quarter and early 4th.

But this is the Mavs, and no lead is ever safe. Phoenix stuck around, and shit got crazy late in the fourth. I'm talking turnovers, blown calls by the refs, and some wild shots.

The starting backcourt had quite the game

Deron Williams and Raymond Felton combined for 35 points, 7 assists, and 8 rebounds. While that isn't a spectacular stat line, they really felt like the engine driving the offense tonight. Deron in particular seemed to hit a great shot every damn time Dallas absolutely needed it. The game started on a fantastic 3-pointer by Deron, and he effectively ended it with a dagger 3 to give the Mavs a 9-point lead with under a minute left.

Deron and Ray Ray both shot right around 50% tonight. Much ado has been made about the Williams-Felton-Matthews-Nowitzki-Pachulia starting lineup. And for good reason. I'll get to Parsons in a minute, but it has been such a pleasure seeing Ray Ray and D-Will really redeem themselves so far this season.

Chandler Parsons started off hesitant, but found himself in the 3rd

There were several times in the first half where Parsons just looked off. Call it a lack of confidence, or maybe he doesn't have his legs under him yet. But he passed up several good looks from range. On one of them he stood there for a good 2 seconds, saw that there was a lane to the basket, missed the dunk, and nearly got himself hurt drawing a foul. At another point, he had a nice cut to the basket but tentatively passed it back out when met by a defender.

It's no secret that Parsons has been lackluster off the bench lately, and it felt like tonight would feed that narrative. But then something clicked in the third quarter. He got a good shot to fall to give Dallas their first double digit lead. He had some good movement and a couple of assists. Then he hit a crazy awesome runner to end the third quarter.

Parsons ended the game with 17 points, and looked so much more comfortable in the second half. I'm really hoping maybe he has turned a corner here.

Devin Harris is finally contributing

Devin Harris had SIX STEALS tonight!!! He also had 12 points on a hyper-efficient 5-8 shooting night.

A number of us had been criticizing Devin this season, and for good reason. But dude is finally finding his groove, and it is so much fun. It really felt like there were points in the second quarter, when the Dallas offense was in one of its patented "nothing will fall" slumps, that the only offense came from Devin steals and transition magic.

Then once things got going in the third (more on that later), Devin had some great playmaking and also a couple of nice looks from distance in the corner. If Devin can continue with this, the Dallas bench might finally find some consistency going forward. Everyone cross your fingers.

Let's talk about that big third quarter

The Dallas offense started the game off hot, then cooled off (big surprise) about halfway through the first quarter. At one point in the second quarter, Dallas was 5-for-17. A few minutes into the third quarter, it really felt like it was going to be one of those slog fests. Things were sloppy for both teams (did I mention Devin had 6 steals?). I think Dallas went about 5 minutes without scoring at one point in the third.

But then everything came together, and Dallas exploded all over Phoenix.  Things really started to pick up when Parsons did that whole tentative pass out thing on what could've been a nice drive. His pass went to Felton, who wasted no time in taking the ball to the hoop himself to give the Mavs a 63-56 lead. Then Felton hit a 3, Parsons got a lay up to fall, and everything started clicking.

The Mavs ended the quarter on an 11-0 run, and scored on the last 8 possessions of the quarter. It was so much fun.

Unfortunately, Phoenix hung around. The game got weird and frustrating there towards the end. But Dallas's two best offensive leaders came through. And I mean Dirk and Deron. I don't know if that will continue to be the case going forward, but these are the guys who have carried this offense so far. They got it done tonight.

Carlisle criticized his team for lacking edge at home. It feels like they responded tonight. This wasn't a blowout. It wasn't easy. But the Mavs delivered. Parsons figured some stuff out. Deron and Dirk did there things. Devin contributed. Things aren't perfect, but this was a fun win. Enjoy it, and hopefully Dallas builds on this going forward.