DALLAS - The Dallas Mavericks fell to the Phoenix Suns on Monday thanks to a Devin Booker three-pointer in the final seconds. The 109-108 defeat drops the Mavs to 8-13 on the season and extends their losing streak to six games, dropping five straight at American Airlines Center.
While the Mavericks start February on a disappointing note, the Suns left the court in Dallas hooting and hollering "I told you so!"
The Mavs carried an 82-77 lead after the third quarter but saw it disappear quickly at the hands of Suns stars Booker and Chris Paul, who went 5-for-5 to start the fourth quarter, willing the Suns to victory down the stretch. Down 108-106, Booker's three-pointer - coming after Dallas failed to use a foul - was the dagger for the Mavs, leaving Dallas with only 1.5 seconds left ... Luka Doncic heaved up a deep shot that did not fall.
“I think we lost because of details,” said Doncic, who was visibly upset after the game.
Paul totaled 34 points, nine rebounds, and nine assists for the Suns.
Josh Richardson could be considered MVP for the Mavs in this one. After missing nine games due to health and safety protocols, Richardson flew all over the court and finished with 24 points.
Richardson gave the Mavs the lead twice in the final five minutes. With the game tied at 97, Richardson slammed down a dunk hard enough to earn a Sports Center Top-10 nod. Then, again with the game tied at 105, Richardson knocked down two free throws to give the Mavs the lead.
Uncharacteristically, Doncic didn't score his first points until 8:26 into the game, while Kristaps Porzingis didn't hit a bucket until the second quarter. The sloppy start for Doncic and Porzingis continued with a combined six turnovers in the first half. Porzingis did heat up, scoring 10 points in the fourth quarter and 19 in the game.
Neither the Mavs nor Suns made a three-pointer in the first eight minutes of the game. Dallas went 0-for-4 and Phoenix went 0-for-6. Not exactly an ideal start for the Mavs, who shot 29.9 percent from 3-point range during their five-game losing streak.
Tim Hardaway Jr. and Richardson's gritty play kept the Mavs in the game by scoring over half of the team's first-half points. The Mavs went on an 8-0 run to end the second quarter, taking a 53-47 halftime lead. Hardaway Jr. totaled 18 points off the bench, while Doncic led the team with 25 points.
Next up, a quick trip to Atlanta to play the Hawks and Trae Young on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. CT. After a road-heavy schedule last month, the Mavs return home to Dallas for seven consecutive games in February and hope to gain some positive momentum with a newly healthy roster.
Oh, and hope to handle the "details,'' too.
“We were well-aware that we had the foul to give,” said Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle. “We were supposed to take it; we did not. So that’s my responsibility. There’s not going to be any finger-pointing about it. It’s going to fall right in my lap.''