Suns Comeback Falls Short Against Mavs
The Suns couldn't believe their luck. Vince Carter had turned the ball over on an inbounds pass under his own hoop with six seconds left and Phoenix trailing by three.
Disbelief occurred again when the out-of-bounds play on the ensuing possession saw P.J. Tucker get the ball wide open in the corner, where the Suns forward is shooting 44.3 percent this season.
The shot, however drew iron, and was a half-step inside the three-point to boot.
The final play typified the game as a whole for Phoenix. They executed well, but too often didn't see the result at the end. The Suns made just 7-of-22 from beyond the arc, the latest in a series of rough outside shooting performances despite open looks.
Dallas, meanwhile couldn't miss, shooting 53 percent while getting some late-game heroics from Shane Larkin. The rookie point guard scored 18, helping to counter Goran Dragic's game-high 28 points and a double-double from Markieff Morris (23 points, 12 rebounds).
Suns Head Coach Jeff Hornacek didn't lament the final play, instead pointing to the team not taking further advantage of the Mavericks' interior defense.
"We let them [the Suns players] shoot threes, but the momentum of the game was that if we just keep going and taking it to the basket like we were doing -- we were getting the layups and the easy shots -- to continue that and not think you're going to get it all back in a hero play.”"
The Suns never led, but they also never let Dallas get comfortable. The final and most dramatic example of that occurred in the final three minutes. Phoenix trailed 104-94 after a Larkin jumper with 2:42 remaining
Markieff Morris hit a three-pointer and was fouled. P.J. Tucker made a three-pointer of his own. Dallas turned the ball over and Dirk Nowitzki missed a three-pointer. Dragic scored the Suns' final six points in the last 43 seconds of the game, setting up the final play.
The Suns' late-game charge marked the third time in the contest they came back from a double-digit deficit.
HIGHLIGHT OF THE GAME
QUOTE OF THE NIGHT
"We had 60 [points in the paint]. when the majority of our points are that way, while all of the sudden change it and start jacking shots up? We need to attack the basket more." -- Jeff Hornacek
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Markieff Morris was a big reason Phoenix stayed within striking distance throughout the game. The third-year forward finished with 23 points and 12 rebounds, including six on the offensive glass. Jeff Hornacek said before the game that the team needed Markieff's energy off the bench. Friday night, he delivered.
PHOTO OF THE NIGHT
STAT(S) OF THE NIGHT
Phoenix came up with 17 offensive rebounds, 20 fast break points and 60 points in the paint. All of that, however, wasn't enough to overcome the Mavericks' 53.0 percent shooting.