The Dallas Mavericks wanted a close shave, but the Suns denied them, putting together their most complete effort since the last time they won on the road six weeks ago. The Suns’ imperfect 10s — a 10-game losing streak and a 10 consecutive losses in Dallas — were halted on the rare night that their flaws were overwhelmed by the positives. The league’s longest active losing streak and the franchise’s fourth worst one ended improbably with a 102-91 victory Wednesday over the Mavericks, who are 0-3 in chances at getting back to .500 and turning into grizzly mountain men since pledging not to shave until they did break even. With two nights rest and slim playoff hopes, Dallas (38-40) was set up for a home win against the last-place Suns, who were playing road games on consecutive nights in a reeling season. Instead, the Mavericks ended the night eliminated from the playoff race after the Los Angeles Lakers’ win. “We just underestimated them,” Dallas forward Shawn Marion said. “… There is no reason we should have lost this game tonight.” The Suns’ victory began predictably where most have found their root. Suns point guard Goran Dragic was on turbo blast, getting five first-quarter layups with crafty drives or transition hustle. Dragic broke up double teams to put Dallas on its heels and set up the Suns’ perimeter game. After his 16-point, nine-assist first half, the Suns led 61-51. “Dragic was the best player on the floor,” Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said. “He shredded us from the start of the game to the end.” Dragic finished with 21 points and 13 assists, but the rest of the Suns’ winning way was improbable. Starting shooting guard Wes Johnson had not scored in double figures for three games but used the perimeter space that Dragic opened for a 15-point second quarter that staved off Dallas’ first surge. Johnson and Dragic looked like an All-Star backcourt with a combined 33 first-half points. Suns center Jermaine O’Neal, coming off a bizarre goaltending finish to lose Tuesday’s game, swatted a season-high seven shots. Luis Scola had his best rebounding game of the season with 15.
Phoenix Suns stun Dallas Mavericks, end losing skids
Arizona Republic | Apr 11