The Dallas Mavericks had an interesting opportunity to play the fourth regular season game ever in Mexico City, when they took on the Phoenix Suns on Thursday night. Both teams arrived in the capital of Mexico on Tuesday, and had a fun couple of days of preparation getting ready for their rematch from a week ago. This time, the Mavs would get the better of the matchup, as Dallas defeated the Suns 113-108.
"We enjoyed every minute of it,'' Dirk Nowitzki said of the south-of-the-border experience. "And obviously, we wanted to get a win. We were sitting on a three-game losing streak, Phoenix had just beaten us at home a couple of nights ago, so that was a good win for us.''
Both teams shot the rock fairly well in the matchup, with the Mavs shooting 48.3 percent from the floor, and 44.1 percent from downtown. The Mavs also handed out a huge 29 assists to just 10 turnovers in the game, while forcing Phoenix into a sloppy 20 turnovers and just 15 assists.
The Mavs were led by a balanced effort on the offensive end with six players scoring in double digits. Dirk Nowitzki and Wes Matthews both had 18 points, while the Mavs young standout Harrison Barnes had 22 points and five assists on 10-17 shooting.
Deron Williams’s "Dirkie''-worthy performance (you vote here!) included 23 points and 12 assists on an efficient 9-15 shooting and 4-5 from three in 32 minutes. He orchestrated the offense well throughout, and helped hold Eric Bledsoe to just 11 points -- the same Bledsoe who torched the Mavs for 26 points just a week earlier.
“Deron had a great night both as a playmaker and scorer,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “He was involved in a lot of key stops, and down the stretch he was really running the team. He was calling plays and getting guys into position. And when a veteran guy like that has a pulse on the game, it’s a real advantage for your team.”
The Mavs young role players Seth Curry (who got his sixth starting nod of the season) and Dwight Powell also had solid games, with Curry scoring 12, and Powell adding 10.
Phoenix, and most specifically Devin Booker, shot the ball efficiently in their own right, going 48.7 percent from the field as a team, and 55.6 percent from three. Booker was on fire, especially late in the game, as he exploded for 39 points on a crazy 70-percent shooting. He was also 6 of 7 from three and 5 of 7 from the line.
Former Mavs hero Tyson Chandler helped the Suns dominate the Mavs inside, as he scored 14 points and grabbed 19 boards in 38 minutes. With Chandler’s help, the Suns outrebounded the Mavs 47-32, and outscored them in the paint 40-28.
Luckily for the Mavs, the rest of the Suns team was wildly unproductive, with the entire Suns bench combining for just 21 points.
The win moved the Mavs to 12-27, and into a tie with these same Suns for the worst record in the Western Conference ... with yet another rematch with the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday afternoon in Dallas, a 1 p.m. tip. The Mavs lost to Minnesota earlier this week in what was one of their more disappointing losses of the season. The Mavs will then turn around and face a couple of favorable road matchups against the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday, and the Miami Heat on Thursday, before returning home to face a very good Utah Jazz team to close out the week.