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Wednesday, January 4, 2012
At the half: Mavs 49, Suns 41

By Jeff Caplan

DALLAS -- Rick Carlisle is in experimental mode with lineups, trying to get a good look at different combinations. Early in the second quarter a big lineup that featured Lamar Odom playing point forward, along with Jason Terry, Vince Carter, Dirk Nowitzki and Ian Mahinmi -- then with Marion in for Nowitzki -- expanded a 31-28 lead to 42-32.

The Suns, struggling with a 10 turnovers and poor shooting (38.6 percent), made a mild rally to cut the deficit to four before going down by eight at halftime.

This probably should be a bigger lead for Dallas, but its shooting just 37.5 percent.

Nowitzki has 13 points on 4-of-10 shooting. Brendan Haywood has four points and 11 rebounds. Odom has nine points, four coming off nice passes from Carter in that stint with the big lineup. Shawn Marion, playing with a cold that kept him out of the morning shootaround, has seven points.

Marcin Gortat leads Phoenix with 10 points. Steve Nash has seven points and six assists.