NBA Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, April 12th
(All times Eastern)
Phoenix Suns (47-32) at Dallas Mavericks (48-32), 8:30 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - A huge Western Conference matchup with massive playoff
implications takes place Saturday night when the Phoenix Suns visit American
Airlines Center to face the Dallas Mavericks.
Dallas is in the seventh position in the Western Conference, just a half-game
ahead of both the Suns and Memphis Grizzlies.
The schedules will prove interesting as the Mavericks finish the season
Wednesday in Memphis. Phoenix will play Saturday's contest, then host the
Grizzlies on Monday and end things at Sacramento on Wednesday. Memphis visits
the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday, the Suns on Monday, then welcomes the Mavs
The Grizzlies own the tiebreaker over the Suns by virtue of winning the head-
The Mavericks had a four-game winning streak ended Thursday night with a home
loss to the San Antonio Spurs. Dallas fell, 109-100, and has dropped two
straight at home.
Monta Ellis paced the Mavericks with 24 points and Dirk Nowitzki scored 19.
Jose Calderon chipped in 14, followed by 12 from Shawn Marion. Samuel
Dalembert pulled down 11 rebounds in defeat.
"Most of our problems were in transition," said Dallas head coach Rick
Carlisle, referring to San Antonio's 35 transition points. "We just didn't
find them quick enough."
The Suns can tell a similar tale as Dallas. They had a three-game winning
streak snapped by the Spurs, although Phoenix's run came to a close in San
Antonio on Friday night with a 112-104 setback.
Eric Bledsoe tallied 30 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists for the Suns, but
turned the ball over seven times, while Gerald Green scored 27 points.
Markieff Morris chipped in 20 off the bench and Channing Frye managed 13
After Frye's 3-pointer staked Phoenix to a 98-97 edge with 4:25 left, the
Spurs responded with triples by Kawhi Leonard, Marco Belinelli and Danny Green
as part of a 9-2 flurry to give them a 106-100 advantage with 1:59 to go.
San Antonio sunk 5-of-6 free throws in the final 20 seconds to seal the
"At the end of the day, we beat ourselves. Too many turnovers on my part,"
Phoenix committed 20 turnovers which led to 26 Spurs points.
These two teams split two matchups this season, both of which were in Phoenix.
The Suns are 2-11 in their last 13 in Big D and 3-12 in their last 15 overall
against the Mavericks.
04/12 10:28:46 ET