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Mavericks 110, Suns 107

The SportsXchange

PHOENIX -- Guard Monta Ellis collected 24 points, six rebounds and seven assists and forward Dirk Nowitzki added 21 points as the Dallas Mavericks led from wire to wire but had to hang on to beat the Phoenix Suns 110-107 on Friday night.

The Suns had one last chance to tie the score in the final seconds after a basket by Phoenix guard Goran Dragic cut the Mavericks' lead to three with 6.7 seconds left.

Dallas guard Vince Carter had his inbounds pass deflect back and hit him while he was standing out of bounds to give Phoenix the ball with one last gasp. But Suns forward P.J. Tucker's shot from the deep right corner -- which was ruled a 2-pointer because his foot was on the 3-point line -- went halfway down before spinning out with 2.6 seconds left.

Forward Shawn Marion and guard Shane Larkin added 16 points each for the Mavericks, who slipped past the Suns into the No. 7 spot in the Western Conference and evened the season series at a game each.

Dragic had a game-high 26 points and seven assists and forward Markieff Morris had 23 points for the Suns, who whittled double-digit deficits to two points several times but could never pull even or take a lead.

Dallas led 86-75 early in the fourth quarter before Markeiff Morris and forward Marcus Morris reeled off nine straight points, with a Marcus Morris 3-pointer cutting the Mavericks' lead to 86-84 with 9:43 left.

Dallas pushed their lead to 91-84 on a Nowitzki basket, but the Suns cut the deficit to 93-90 on a Markieff Morris basket with 6:29 to go.

Dallas appeared to have the game put away when a three-point play by center Samuel Dalembert pushed the lead back to 10 at 102-92 with 2:42 left. But the Suns kept coming, with 3-pointers by Markeiff Morris and Tucker setting the stage for their last gasp.

The Mavericks shot 58 percent from the field in the first quarter and took a 23-12 lead on a Nowitzki 3-pointer with 6:26 left. Ellis had 10 points and three assists in the quarter.

Dallas led 36-30 after one quarter, putting up the most points scored against Phoenix in an opening 12 minutes this season.

After closing the first quarter with a 7-2 run, the Suns used an 8-0 spurt midway through the second to pull within 44-42 on a Tucker fast-break layup off a long Markieff Morris feed.

Dallas never trailed in the first half, but Dragic's driving layup with 28.9 seconds left cut the lead to 58-56 at intermission.

NOTES: Suns G Leandro Barbosa missed his second game with a sprained right shoulder. His 10-day contract expires Saturday and coach Jeff Hornacek said GM Ryan McDonough will make a final decision after Friday's game. "I'm assuming that we'll probably end up signing him to another 10-day contract," Hornacek said. ... Dallas coach Rich Carlisle on the Suns' surprise start: "They are one of the most physical teams in the league. People do not talk much about that. They defend well. They go after rebounds. They have toughness. They have great coaching. Hornacek has done a fantastic job." ... The Mavericks went into the game allowing 14.9 fast-break points per game, 26th best in the NBA. The Suns led the NBA with 19 fast-break points per game. ... The Suns average 108.1 points per game at home this season. When they reach 110 points, they have won 16 straight and 23 of the last 24 at the US Airways Center. ... The Suns haven't beaten the Mavericks three straight times in the regular season since taking nine in a row from March 2, 1997 to April 16, 1999.

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