Game: Phoenix Suns @ Dallas Mavericks
Time: 8:30 p.m.
Odds: Suns +3, Mavericks -3
The epic collapse against the Mavericks in the Western Conference semifinals last season overshadows the Phoenix Suns’ dominance in regular-season games against Dallas over the past three-plus seasons.
Dallas advanced to the Western Conference finals and sent Phoenix home earlier than anticipated by winning the final two games of that series by an average of 30 points.
Tonight in Dallas, the Suns will aim to win their 11th straight game over the Mavericks and their second victory over Dallas this season. Phoenix overcame a 22-point deficit to defeat Dallas 107-105 on October 19 in both teams’ regular-season openers.
The Suns, who currently sit atop the Western Conference, are also playing better basketball right now. In contrast to the Mavericks, who have won just two of their last seven games, Phoenix has won seven of its last eight games.
The Suns destroyed the San Antonio Spurs 133-95 on Sunday to open a two-game road trip through Texas. Mikal Bridges and Devin Booker each scored 20 points, while Deandre Ayton finished with 25 points and 10 rebounds. Phoenix made 49 field goals while dishing out 38 assists. The Spurs threw a number of defenses at Phoenix and the Suns destroyed them all.
The Suns led 71-41 at the half after allowing just 11 points in the second quarter. Phoenix was able to rest its starters thanks to the large cushion. Five of the Suns’ reserves played at least 14 minutes and three of them played at least 24. That will help as the Suns play on consecutive nights. Dario Saric scored 17 points in just 21 minutes while playing for the first time this season.
Torrey Craig’s (groin) absence from the last two games forced Saric to take the court on Sunday. Craig might miss another game on Monday while the NBA’s best point guard Chris Paul will sit out his 14th straight game due to a heel injury.
Dallas, which has been having trouble lately, played well against the New York Knicks on the road, winning 121-100 on Saturday. For the third game in a row, Luka Doncic scored at least 30 points. He had exactly 30 while Tim Hardaway Jr. had a season-high 28 hitting eight three-pointers. As a team, the Mavs hit 24-of-61 three-pointers. At halftime, the Mavericks were down 59-52, but they outscored New York 41-15 in the third quarter to turn the game around.
Doncic averages an NBA-best 33.4 points per game. He and the Mavs will play five of the next seven games at home after the game against the Suns. Due to a non-COVID illness, Dallas big man Christian Wood is questionable for Monday. He missed Saturday’s game against the Knicks. In five of his last eight games, Wood has scored 20 points or more.
Phoenix is 13-4 SU in the last 17 games against Dallas. The Suns are just 1-5 ATS in the last six games against the Suns. Dallas is 3-13 ATS in its last 16 games. The Mavs are strong at home though with an 8-2 SU record in their last 10 at the American Airlines Center.
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