Rapid Reaction: Mavericks 97, Suns 94
December, 7, 2012
By Master Tesfatsion / Special to ESPNDallas.com
How it happened: The Dallas Mavericks put a dent in the Phoenix Suns’ pockets.
On a night deemed “Satisfaction Guaranteed” night -- where “good times” were guaranteed or fans could get their money back Thursday at U.S. Airways Center -- the short-handed Mavericks upset some fans in the second half.
Guard O.J. Mayo dropped 23 points on the night, including the game-winner against a team that failed in its bid to sign him in the offseason. He continued his sizzling start from behind the arc and made 3-of-5 3-pointers Thursday. Mayo also had five rebounds and five assists in 40 minutes.
The Mavericks were able to hold on to their second-half lead despite being shorthanded. Forward Shawn Marion and center Chris Kaman left with injuries in the second half and did not return. Marion strained his right groin in the third quarter, and Kaman sprained his left ankle in the fourth.
The Mavericks were down 44-40 at halftime but outscored the Suns 29-18 in the third quarter to take a seven-point lead into the final frame. They led by as many as 15 in the game but had to withstand a run from the Suns. The bench was a big part of the Mavs' success. Kaman scored 15 of Dallas' 53 points off the bench before leaving. Coach Rick Carlisle elected to bring Kaman and forward Jae Crowder off the bench and start forward Elton Brand and guard Dahntay Jones. Brand scored four points and grabbed seven boards in 27 minutes. Jones and Crowder were scoreless in a combined 29 minutes.
Center Brandan Wright stepped up with 16 points and a critical block down the stretch. Point guard Darren Collison scored 10 of his 16 points at the free-throw line and helped the Mavericks hang on down the stretch.
What it means: The Mavericks are now 2-3 on the second game back-to-backs this season. They’re 9-10 overall and 1-1 on their current three-game road trip.
Play of the game: Mayo came through in the clutch for the Mavericks. He drilled a heavily-contested 21-footer over Sebastian Telfair to give the Mavericks an 89-87 lead with 34.6 seconds left.
Stat of the night: Despite a career-high 17 boards from Markieff Morris, the Mavericks edged out the Suns on the glass, 44-42. It’s only the seventh time this season the Mavericks have outrebounded their opponent.