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Phoenix Suns face Dallas Mavericks after break; Bradley Beal (hamstring) questionable

DALLAS – The Phoenix Suns are going into the second half of the season with a new addition, one of their Big 3 working his way back from injury and facing the toughest remaining schedule in the NBA.

The Suns (33-22) take on the Dallas Mavericks (32-23) in their first game out of the NBA All-Star break Thursday. They trek out to American Airlines Center with Thaddeus Young on the roster and Bradley Beal looking to return from a left hamstring injury suffered last week against Sacramento.

Beal is listed as questionable with left hamstring tightness. He didn’t play in Phoenix’s final game before the break against Detroit.

“We had him get a little work in, but not overdo it with three games in four nights coming back,” Suns coach Frank Vogel said after Wednesday’s practice at the Mavs practice court inside American Airlines Center. “We’ll see how his injury responds to (Wednesday’s) work."

Beal also had a procedure done on his nose, which was broken last month at Indiana. He’s been wearing a mask the last nine games he’s played and will continue to do so even after having the procedure.

Vogel said everyone else on the team is healthy as the Suns will play the first of a back-to-back Thursday against the Mavs. They’re at Houston on Friday and face the Lakers on Sunday afternoon in Phoenix.

The Suns have the toughest remaining schedule coming out of the All-Star break. Twelve of their remaining 27 games are against Boston (twice), Minnesota (twice), Oklahoma City (twice), Cleveland (twice), the defending NBA champion Denver Nuggets (twice) and Los Angeles Clippers (twice).

Boston (43-12) and Cleveland (36-17) are 1-2 in the East with the Celtics having the NBA's best record. The Timberwolves (39-16) lead the West followed by the Thunder (37-17), Clippers (36-17) and Nuggets (36-19).

“Love the IQ we got in the building,” Suns superstar Kevin Durant said. “Love the experience we got. It’s about putting it together and getting more reps on the floor. So it starts (Thursday).”

The Suns will face Mavs star guard Kyrie Irving for the first time this season as he missed their two previous matchups. Luka Doncic (broken nose) is listed as probable along with Maxi Kleber (nasal fracture) and Dereck Lively II (nasal fracture).

Phoenix is 1-1 versus Dallas. This will be their final matchup in the regular season. The Mavs are seventh in the West while the Suns are fifth, but they are only separated by a game. The Suns won the last matchup, 132-109, Jan. 24 at Dallas.

“They’re one of the best teams in the league,” said Vogel. “Going to have to deal with Luka and Kyrie on the floor at the same time with the new additions they’ve added with (Daniel) Gafford and (P.J.) Washington. They got stronger at the trade deadline. They’re going to be a tough out.”

The Suns have a welcomed addition in Young as the team announced his signing Tuesday.

The 6-8 veteran forward is looking to play the four or small-ball five, giving the Suns versatility with their small-ball lineups. Young was last with the Toronto Raptors.

“When you’re trying to beat certain teams down the stretch, sometimes you have to go with those smaller lineups, but I think with having me brings a different dynamic to the team with my skill set,” Young said. “Being able to play off the doubles, get into the middle of the lane and make certain reads and kickouts to guys. Being able to get my floater off in the middle of the lane.”

Vogel said “we’ll see” when asked if Young will play Thursday, saying he gives the Suns “a different pitch” at the center position.

“Then defensively versatility,” Young continued “I think that’s one of the biggest things, too. I can guard one through five and it makes us a more switchable team with size and depth.”

Have opinions about the current state of the Suns? Reach Suns Insider Duane Rankin at dmrankin@gannett.com or contact him at 480-787-1240. Follow him on X, formerly Twitter, at @DuaneRankin.

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This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Bradley Beal suffered hamstring injury last week vs. Sacramento Kings