Mavericks at Suns
8 p.m. Friday, US Airways Center, Phoenix
Radio: ESPN/103.3 FM, KFLC/1270 AM (Spanish)
Records: Mavs 23-17; Suns 22-16
About the Mavericks: There have been many disappointing losses for the Mavericks this season, but probably none more than what happened late Wednesday night in Los Angeles against the Clippers. The Mavericks held a 17-point lead with 4:48 left and a nine-point lead with under 2 minutes remaining. Somehow, the Mavericks lost 129-127. Thus, the Mavericks need to find some pick-me-up-energy after getting blindsided. ... Dallas returns home after tonight to host Portland on Saturday before leaving again Sunday to play in Cleveland on Monday in the first game of a three-game road trip, which also includes contests in Toronto and Brooklyn. ... The Mavericks are battling with Phoenix for the Western Conference’s seventh playoff spot — currently occupied by the Suns. The Mavericks are one game behind the Suns, who beat Dallas in Phoenix 123-108 on Dec. 21.
About the Suns: Phoenix defeated the Lakers 121-114 Wednesday in the opener of a five-game homestand. Gerald Green (season-high 28 points), Markieff Morris (24 points, seven rebounds) and Channing Frye (20 points, eight rebounds) led the Suns over the Lakers. ... The win over LA snapped a three-game losing streak by Phoenix, but the Suns have still lost five of their past eight games. ... Since the Mavericks and Suns only play three times this season, a Phoenix victory would give the Suns the head-to-head tiebreaker in case these teams end the season with identical records. ... Guard Leandro Barbosa (shoulder) did not play against the Lakers, but could be available Friday. ... The Suns have the fifth-best home record out West at 13-5. ... Phoenix is 10th in the NBA in scoring with 103.5 points per game, but it doesn’t share the ball very well. The Suns are dead last in the league in assists at 19 per game.
— Dwain Price