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3 things we learned as Dallas lets one slip away against Phoenix

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A winnable game gets away from the Mavs at home.

NBA: Phoenix Suns at Dallas Mavericks Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

After an impressive win against Washington over the weekend, some of us took a look at the upcoming schedule and thought that the Mavs could potentially make a run in the month of January.

Unfortunately, on Thursday night, they tripped and stumbled, instead.

A Phoenix Suns team with a young coach and a young roster, with no designs on playoff contention and a worse record than Dallas(something we haven’t said about their opponents very often this season) came into the AAC and pulled out a win.

POOR EXECUTION IN CRUNCH TIME

After tying it at 93 with two minutes left, Dallas let Phoenix score nine straight points. It was a strange sight given how well the Mavs looked in critical moments against the Wizards. If you didn’t know it, you’d think it was Phoenix that had the veteran players and Dallas had the kids running around winging it. A pair of missed threes from Wes Matthews(who struggled shooting 1-8 from distance and 3-12 overall) and a big offensive rebound from ex-Longhorn P.J. Tucker that led to a go-ahead Eric Bledsoe three were costly.

DIRK GETS EXTENDED LOOK, BUT...

The Big German played 28 minutes tonight as he continues to stretch those legs into mid-season form, but it wasn’t one of Dirk’s better performances. He hit a big three with five minutes left that gave Dallas a brief lead, but shot just 5-14 overall and was tested by the center combo of Tyson Chandler(18 rebounds and +17 on the night) and Alex Len(14 and 7 in just 17 minutes). Andrew Bogut played his usual brand of tough defense, but didn’t exactly light up the stat sheet, with a shocking 0 point/0 rebound effort in 20 minutes. He had five fouls.

THE BRIGHT SPOT? HARRISON BARNES

So to avoid being all negative here, let me lend some praise to Mr. Barnes, who played a quietly effective game, shooting 8-13 for 19 points. He was the only Mavs’ starter in the positive in plus-minus, despite playing 39 minutes. For all the times I can remember shrugging at the nights where Barnes would get 24 points or so on 22 shots, this was probably the kind of game where Dallas could have called his name more often.

Dallas falls to 11-25, but will stick around the Metroplex for a Saturdany matchup with the Altanta Hawks. They’ll get a chance for revenge against the Suns in a week on a road.