It’s a small feat that the Mavericks achieved by winning 99-95 in Phoenix! First because the Suns remained on four straight wins. Then because they only conceded 95 points and that doesn’t happen every day. Finally, already deprived of Christian Wood, they played 45 minutes without Luka Doncic, hit in the ankle! But the Mavericks have, in Spencer Dinwiddie, an element capable of being an offensive leader. As in this second quarter, where he signs 10 points in a row to unblock the situation, and allow the Mavericks to lead 54-48 at the break.
Returning from the locker room, Dinwiddie received a helping hand from Dorian Finney-Smith, and Dallas escaped (63-52). Opposite, Chris Paul floats, and he just needs a helping hand for the Suns to pick up the score.
It is Mikal Bridges who devotes himself with eight points in a row, while Dinwiddie remains on his cloud: 30 points after three quarters. At the start of the last quarter, the Mavericks keep a small mattress of 5-6 points ahead, but they are on a thread. Especially since Cam Johnson plants two 3-pointers in a row to wake up his teammates.
Behind, Bridges scored a complicated basket in the middle of a forest of arms, and three minutes from the end, Phoenix returned to -4 (95-91). Chris Paul then takes responsibility, and he cuts the defense to bring his people down to a small point (96-95). There are 19 seconds left to play. Everything will be played on the throws of Reggie Bullock. He puts the first (97-95), but he misses the second. And there, Dwight Powell snatches the offensive rebound! Foul by Deandre Ayton. Powell puts both (99-95), and Dallas wins at the Suns.
WHAT YOU MUST REMEMBER
– The injury of Luka Doncic. The left ankle spun after just three minutes, and the Slovenian left his teammates early in the game, never to return. X-rays revealed no fractures. It will be necessary to know the result of the MRI to know the severity of the sprain. Note that the Mavericks had never won without Luka Doncic this season: 5 losses for 5 absences.
– The awkwardness of the Suns. With the exception of the Paul-Johnson tandem, skillful from start to finish, the Suns clearly did not have the compass in the eye. Josh Okogie, who had just planted 24 points against the Pacers, failed! As for DeAndre Ayton, he finished 6 out of 20 on shots! We will retain the 3 out of 14 on shots from the substitutes in the 2nd quarter or the 1 out of 7 from the holders to attack the 2nd half. Two passages that allowed the Mavericks to break.
– Pivotal match? In the event of a victory, the Suns would have passed the Mavericks in the standings, in the position of the last qualified for the playoffs. If Golden State and Minnesota win tonight, Phoenix will fall back to 9th place…
✅Spencer Dinwiddie. It was Luka Doncic disguised as Spencer Dinwiddie… Like this 3-pointer at the end of the 3rd quarter, the former Nets leader was immense with his 36 points, 9 assists and 6 rebounds. A real boss, able to raise his level of play when the team needed.
✅Dwight Powell. The shadow hero. Beyond his last offensive rebound and his throws, he weighed the whole match by his placement in attack, and his aggressiveness in defense. Deandre Ayton broke his teeth on him.
✅Chris Paul. He’s playing at his best, and it’s a shame he lacks support. We thought he was going to rob the Mavericks in the last minute.
⛔Deandre Ayton. From an accounting point of view, it’s a mammoth performance with 19 points and 20 rebounds. Except that the pivot of the Suns shoots at 6 of 20 on shots, with many failures near the circle! Worse, he forgets Dwight Powell on the game’s most important rebound.
Dallas (26-24) : trip to Utah on Saturday evening.
Phoenix (25-25) : trip to San Antonio on Saturday evening.