Mavs’ Porzingis believes two games against Phoenix may have been different with Doncic

The Dallas Mavericks finished off their two-game set in Phoenix against the Suns(12-3) on Friday night. The Mavericks, who were again without Luka Doncic(ankle/knee sprains), took an 84-79 lead into the fourth but would be outscored 33-20 in the final quarter and fall to Phoenix 112-104.

Dallas(9-6) fell to the Suns 105-98 on Wednesday night.

Here is the Great, Not so Great, and the Bottom Line of Phoenix’s loss to Dallas.

The Great for the Mavericks:

-Kristaps Porzingis continues to play well for Dallas. He led the way with a game-high 23 points, and he grabbed a team-high 12 rebounds. Porzingis shot the ball well as he was 8/13 from the field, including 3/6 from downtown. This was Porzingis’ fifth consecutive game of 20 points or more.

Jalen Brunson in the first three quarters: In his second consecutive start for Dallas, Brunson had a double-double with 18 points and 10 assists. For the first three quarters, Brunson was 6/13 from the floor with 15 points and eight assists, and Dallas took an 84-79 lead into the fourth.

Not so Great for the Mavericks:

Fourth Quarter:  Dallas went cold in the fourth. They shot 6/21 from the field and had five of their 10 turnovers in the quarter. Phoenix went on a 17-3 run to start to the fourth, and the Suns shot 65% from the floor, including 5/7 from three-point range. Ultimately, the Mavericks were outscored 33-20.

Fourth Quarter Jalen Brunson: The fourth-year guard struggled in the fourth. He was 1/6 from the floor and scored only two points, but it was not just on him; the team struggled in the final period. Brunson finished the game shooting 7/19.

Defense: Dallas allowed the Suns to shoot 52% from the floor, including 48% from downtown on Friday night. In addition, they allowed Phoenix to score 112 points. 

Bottom Line:

The Phoenix Suns are red-hot as they have won 11 straight; they are probably playing the best basketball in the NBA right now. In both games against the Suns, the Mavericks took leads into the fourth, and both times, the Suns outlasted them. Maybe if Doncic was healthy, Dallas could have split the two-game set in Phoenix. Hopefully, they can get Doncic back against the Clippers.

“They’re a good team,” Porzingis said postgame about the Suns. They were in the Finals last year. That says a lot. I feel like we’re not too far off. If we had Luka(Doncic), it would also probably be a different look.”

What’s Next:

Dallas continues their four-game road trip on Sunday in Los Angeles as they begin a two-game set against the Clippers.

Best of the Rest:

-The Suns had six players in double figures. Devin Booker and Mikal Bridges(7/7 FG) had 19 points apiece. Chris Paul added 18 points, 14 assists, and five rebounds; Deandre Ayton had 8 points and a game-high 17 rebounds, and JaVale McGee had 14 points and six rebounds off the bench.

-For the Mavs, Tim Hardaway Jr. added 18 points, and Dorian Finney-Smith chipped in with 12.

On Friday, Dallas announced that Dirk Nowitzki’s number 41 would be retired on January 5th against the Warriors.

Watch below as Brunson reacts to loss to Suns:

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