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Two takeaways from the Suns drubbing of the Mavericks, 102-88

Dallas started poorly and could never recover in a sluggish loss to Phoenix.

NBA: Dallas Mavericks at Phoenix Suns Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Mavericks lost their fifth straight game Wednesday night, falling to the Phoenix Suns 102-88. TJ Warren was the high point man for the Suns, scoring 20. Dirk Nowitzki led the Mavericks in defeat, putting up a 14 point, 10 rebound double double.

The Phoenix Suns came out hot early while the Dallas Mavericks were ice cold. A small Suns lead quickly ballooned to 23-6 on the strength of Phoenix three point shooting and Maverick jumpers refusing to fall. The Mavericks finally shook some of the rust off and began connecting on shots, but Phoenix could not be stopped. A graphic injury to Isaiah Canaan (really, don’t seek it out, it looked worse than the Gordon Hayward injury) happened right before the quarter’s end which really put a damper on a high scoring affair. The Suns led after one, 36-17.

The Canaan injury understandably sucked some of the energy out of the building, but Dirk Nowitzki came alive in the second from deep to give the Mavericks a little bit of hope. The Mavericks twice whittled the Sun lead down from double digits, but sloppy turnovers and smart Phoenix play meant those cuts into the lead were short lived. Rookie Josh Jackson made plays throughout the period (nine points!) which kept the Mavericks at bay. The Mavericks trailed at halftime, 57-46.

Quarter three became a farce in a hurry, with Dallas unable to connect still while the Suns kept clicking. Phoenix built a 20 point lead by the nine minute mark. The Mavericks did draw Devin Booker’s fourth foul at the six minute mark, but the Mavericks couldn’t make a dent. Kyle Collingsworth, on the last day of his second 10 day contract, did come in and play hard though, so that was at least something. After three the Suns led 81-61.

For those who stuck around, the Mavericks made it interesting because of course they did. Dirk picked up a tech for some reason, which was mainly funny. Devin Booker finally scored some more points after foul trouble kept him in check. Dallas worked and worked and a 23 point lead slowly became seven points with just over three minutes remaining. They were aided by the youthful Suns forgetting that the game wasn’t over and a four minute Phoenix scoreless stretch. But Devin Booker buckets paired with Wesley Matthews continuing a putrid shooting night (2 of 17!) meant Dallas didn’t get any closer than seven. Dallas falls in Phoenix, 102-88.

Let’s just make it out of the game without any injuries

It’s hard to take anything away from the game. Dallas came out flat, the Suns came out hot. But after the Canaan injury, it didn’t really seem to matter. Both teams played harder than I expected and the Mavericks in particular just kept coming. But for Dallas, that didn’t matter because everyone shot the ball like crap. It was fun to see Dennis Smith Jr. continue his downhill running at the basket. But past all this, the game was effectively over in the first quarter. It’s good no one else got hurt and I wish Canaan all the best as he recovers from that injury.

The Mavericks are now in sole possession of the third worst record in the league.

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