Dragic, Suns end Mavericks’ 5-game streak, 118-106
DALLAS (AP) — With a couple of days off after his best scoring night of the season, Goran Dragic was ready for a fast start against the Dallas Mavericks.
Now, Dragic and the Phoenix Suns have to find the energy to sustain it after winning the first of four games in five nights.
“I’m not saying it’s going to be easy,” Dragic said. “We have a long bench. Some guys are going to need to step in and do their best.”
Dragic had 28 points and a season-high 13 assists, Markieff Morris scored 22 and the Suns beat Dallas 118-106 Friday night, ending the Mavericks’ five-game winning streak.
Eric Bledsoe had 19 points for the Suns, who ran out to an 18-point lead in the first quarter and held on after Dallas pulled within five in the fourth.
Monta Ellis scored 33 points for the Mavericks, who couldn’t match their best winning streak of the season after going 4-0 on an Eastern Conference road swing.
The Suns looked fresh from the start, shooting 70 percent in the first quarter and setting a season high for points in a half while taking a 69-57 lead at the break.
Phoenix goes to Houston on Saturday night, takes a day off and then plays at the Los Angeles Clippers and at home against Miami.
“I think they’re all like 23, 24, 22,” Suns coach Jeff Hornacek said. “I think they should have enough energy. They need to look at the bright side — at least it’s not practice.”
Phoenix shot 56 percent for the game and won for the 26th straight time when shooting at least 50 percent. The streak dates to the start of the 2013-14 season.
Three nights after they set season highs in scoring in the same game against Indiana, Dragic and Bledsoe picked up where they left off. Each had 10 points in the first quarter as the Suns took a 36-18 lead with 3 minutes left in the quarter.
“We were in such a big hole, then you have to pitch a perfect game,” Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said. “You’ve got to make all your shots, you can’t turn it over and you’ve got to keep getting stops. We did none of the above.”
Dirk Nowitzki got two nights of rest on the Mavericks’ perfect road trip, but it didn’t help the 36-year-old in his 17th season much against the Suns. He scored a season-low 10 points on 2-of-10 shooting.
Suns: G Isaiah Thomas missed his fifth straight game with a right ankle injury. ... Gerald Green had 15 points before fouling out with 2:56 remaining. ... Morris had his fifth double-double of the season with 10 rebounds. ... Dragic’s season high against Indiana was 34, while Bledsoe scored 27. ... The Suns won in Dallas for just the second time in 13 games.
Mavericks: Dallas swept four East teams on the same road trip for the second time in franchise history. The other was a five-game streak in March 2007. ... Tyson Chandler had his 11th double-double of the season with 15 points and 18 rebounds. ... Phoenix’s 118 points were a season high against Dallas.
Dallas was down eight early in the fourth when Nowitzki missed badly on a jumper and Dragic took a long rebound the length of the court for a layup. Less than a minute later, he easily dribbled through the defense for a layup that capped a 10-1 run for a 103-89 lead.
ELLIS STILL ROLLING
Ellis, who had three free throws near the end of regulation in a double-overtime victory at Chicago and hit a buzzer-beating winner in Milwaukee, kept the Mavericks in the game with 18 points in the first half. He had at least 30 points for the third time in five games and the fifth time overall. All five have been in the past 10 games.
Suns: At Houston on Saturday.
Mavericks: Milwaukee at home on Sunday, the second of two games in five nights against the Bucks.