Boss for a night, Spencer Dinwiddie makes the Suns dizzy
It was a small victory that the Mavericks achieved by winning 99-95 in Phoenix! First because the Suns stayed on a four-game winning streak. Then because they only received 95 points and that doesn’t happen every day. Finally, deprived of Christian Wood, they played 45 minutes without Luka Doncic, hit on the ankle! But the Mavericks have, in Spencer Dinwiddie, an element capable of being an offensive leader. Like this second quarter, where he scored 10 points in a row to unblock the situation, and let the Mavericks lead 54-48 at the break.
Returning from the locker room, Dinwiddie received help from Dorian Finney-Smith, and Dallas escaped (63-52). On the opposite side, Chris Paul floated, and he just needed an assist to get the Suns to score.
Mikal Bridges set himself up with eight straight points, while Dinwiddie remained on his cloud: 30 points after three quarters. At the beginning of the last quarter, the Mavericks maintained a small mattress of 5-6 points ahead, but they were on a thread. Especially Cam Johnson planted two consecutive 3-pointers to wake up his teammates.
Behind, Bridges scored a complex basket in the middle of the jungle of weapons, and three minutes from the end, Phoenix returned to -4 (95-91). Then Chris Paul takes the responsibility, and he cuts through the defense to bring his men to a small point (96-95). There are 19 seconds left to play. All will be played on Reggie Bullock’s throws. He placed first (97-95), but missed the second. And there, Dwight Powell grabbed the offensive rebound! Foul by Deandre Ayton. Powell put both (99-95), and Dallas won over the Suns.
WHAT YOU SHOULD REMEMBER
– Luka Doncic’s injury. Sprained his left ankle after just three minutes, and the Slovenian left his teammates early in the game, never to return. X-rays revealed no fractures. MRI results will be needed to determine the severity of the sprain. Note that the Mavericks have never won without Luka Doncic this season: 5 losses for 5 absences.
– The awkwardness of the Suns. Other than the Paul-Johnson tandem, great from start to finish, the Suns clearly have no compass in sight. Josh Okogie failed, putting up only 24 points against the Pacers! As for DeAndre Ayton, he finished 6 of 20 on shots! We will keep 3 of 14 on shots from the substitutes in the 2nd quarter or 1 of 7 from the holders to attack the 2nd half. Two passages that allowed the Mavericks to break.
– Pivotal match? If they had won, the Suns would have passed the Mavericks in the standings, in the position of the last qualifier for the playoffs. If Golden State and Minnesota win tonight, Phoenix will move back into 9th place…
✅Spencer Dinwiddie. It was Luka Doncic disguised as Spencer Dinwiddie… Like this 3-pointer at the end of the 3rd quarter, the former leader of the Nets was huge with his 36 points, 9 assists and 6 rebounds. A true boss, able to raise his level of play when the team needs it.
✅Dwight Powell. The shadow hero. More than his last offensive rebound and his throws, he weighed the entire match with his positioning on offense, and his aggressiveness on defense. Deandre Ayton broke a tooth on him.
✅Chris Paul. He’s playing at his best, and it’s a shame that he lacks support. We thought he was going to steal the Mavericks at the last minute.
⛔Deandre Ayton. From an accounting point of view, it was a tremendous performance with 19 points and 20 rebounds. Except the Suns’ pivot is shooting 6 of 20 on shots, with a lot of misses near the circle! Even worse, he missed Dwight Powell on the most important rebound of the game.
Dallas (26-24) : trip to Utah on Saturday night.
Phoenix (25-25) : trip to San Antonio on Saturday night.