Mavs Visit Suns: Hit The Road, Jacks

'It’s ugly, coach Rick Carlisle says, reflecting on Friday's loss to the Grizz. 'But we’ve got to take responsibility for it and prepare for the next one. And with a dozen left, they’re going to go by quickly.' Quickly, here comes tonight's visit to Amare's old stomping grounds. Mavs at Phoenix, previewed inside:

Mavs at Suns tonight

The 3-2 homestand that ended Friday -- and ended with a 112-101 home loss to Memphis that was burn=the-film-worthy -- is suddenly way behind the 44-26 Dallas Mavericks, who right now might figure to be the No. 7 seed in the West and face the No. 2-seeded Grizzlies in the first round of the playoffs.

Ah, but that task is way ahead of Dallas. First comes a road trip starting with tonight's 8 p.m. tip at Phoenix (I'll join Dana and Bob for the "Mavs Live'' pregame show at 7:30 on FOX Sports Southwest). And then comes a quirky home-and-road Tuesday/Friday "doubleheader'' with the Spurs.

"We still feel confident about who we are and what we can do,'' said Amare Stoudemire, who tonight returns home to the site of his greatest glories as a part of the "7-Seconds-Or-Less'' Suns, for whom he was a decade ago a 24/10 kind of star.


Now he's part of a Dallas bench that needs to help grind things out while Dirk Nowitzki and the first-teamers try to figure things out. Dirk spent most of the homestand getting his shot straight, but he was 4-of-14 from the field for 16 points against Memphis ... and he joined Devin Harris as the leading scorer in that "effort.''

“It’s ugly,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “There’s no two ways about it, but we’ve got to take responsibility for it and prepare for the next one. And with a dozen left, they’re going to go by quickly.”

The Suns (36-33) have won three straight after last night's 117-102 success in Houston. They'll be playing on the second night of a back-to-back with travel ... and they'll be trying to repair some of their own offensive woes. Going in the Rockets game, they were averaging 88 points on 41.6-percent shooting over the previous six games. But they are hot enough overall, with Eric Bledsoe taking on a huge role, to be just 2.5 games back of OKC for the No. 8 slot in the West.


Phoenix also has some injury issues, with Brandon Knight missing five straight games with an ankle injury. Center Alex Len (ankle) missed two games but came back last night, though Mavs fans won't be surprised to know that when old friend Brandan Wright gets a shot, he contributed as he did in a recent loss to New Orleans in which he started and scored 16 and blocked a career-high seven shots. Wright had nine rebounds and eight points last night in Houston.

See you tonight on FOX Sports Southwest to talk Mavs at Suns ... with special attention to the retiring Steve Nash!

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