Dallas Mavericks

Mavericks’ youngsters suffer bad Sun burn in next-to-last road game

Dallas Mavericks center Nerlens Noel (3) blocks the shot of Phoenix Suns forward Marquese Chriss during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, April 9, 2017, in Phoenix.
Dallas Mavericks center Nerlens Noel (3) blocks the shot of Phoenix Suns forward Marquese Chriss during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, April 9, 2017, in Phoenix. AP

When both teams went with youngsters for the second half, the Phoenix Suns knew they had an advantage over the Dallas Mavericks.

The Suns have been giving quality minutes to their rookies and younger players for months. It showed, as Phoenix turned a three-point halftime lead into a 124-111 victory Sunday night in its home finale.

T.J. Warren and Devin Booker each scored 21 points, and Tyler Ulis added 20 points and 10 assists. Warren made all eight of his shots.

“You get a chance to see how much further along our young guys are compared to other teams,” Suns coach Earl Watson said.

Booker went to the bench for good with 8:35 left in the third quarter. Booker, with a 3-pointer less than two minutes into the game, passed Kobe Bryant to move into fourth place on the NBA scoring list of players before their 21st birthday. With 2,774 career points, Booker trails Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Durant and leader LeBron James.

The Mavericks rested starters Dirk Nowitzki, Nerlens Noel and Wesley Matthews in the second half. Yogi Ferrell and Dwight Powell led Dallas with 21 points each. Dallas has lost four straight.

“These young guys are getting experience, they’re getting their brains beat in in the second halves but this is how you learn,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said.

The Suns moved to 24-57 and will finish with either the second- or third-worst record in the NBA. The Los Angeles Lakers started Sunday 24-55.

The Mavericks at 32-48 are ninth-worst in the league with two games remaining, Tuesday at home against Denver and Wednesday at Memphis. New Orleans is 10th-worst at 33-47, and Minnesota, which was playing the Lakers on Sunday night, is eighth from the bottom at 31-48.

Dallas would select ninth in the NBA Draft if the current standings hold.

Phoenix turned a three-point halftime lead into a 104-85 lead after three quarters, with Ulis scoring 15 points in the third.

Rookie Derrick Jones Jr. highlighted the fourth with a rebound dunk with 8:55 to play. Jones scored 15 points, a career high.

The Suns used a 17-0 run to go up 24-14 with 5:50 left in the first quarter. The Mavericks went through a stretch of eight straight missed shots.

Warren’s corner 3 with one second left in the first gave Phoenix a 40-29 lead, part of his 15 points in the opening 12 minutes.

The Suns led by as many as 16 points in the second quarter, only to see Dallas take a 56-55 lead on Nowitzki’s 12-foot turnaround at the 4:55 mark. But Phoenix took a 68-65 lead into the break.

Booker had 12 of his 17 first-half points in the second quarter.

Briefly

▪ Mavericks guard Seth Curry did not play, missing his fifth straight game with a left shoulder injury. Coach Rick Carlisle said the injury is not considered serious but it will need rehab.

▪ Carlisle remained mum on the subject of former Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo being added to the roster for the home finale Tuesday.

▪ F Harrison Barnes was held out of Sunday’s game to rest, but Carlisle said he’ll play Tuesday in the home finale. Barnes had played all 79 games this season. “I would have liked to see him rest a little sooner. At a certain point he was kind of hell-bent on (playing all) 82 but he’s come off of that,” Carlisle said.

▪ Phoenix coach Earl Watson said the Suns plan to spend a lot of time together in the offseason, and a team trip to be determined is being planned to where the players can play pickup ball against other pros.

UP NEXT

Mavericks: Host Denver in the home finale Tuesday.

Suns: At Sacramento in their season finale Tuesday night.

Dallas

29

36

20

26

111

Phoenix

40

28

36

20

124

Dallas

Min

FG-A

FT-A

R

A

F

Pt

Fin-Smith

30:09

2-9

2-2

11

3

4

6

Noel

9:27

1-2

1-1

1

2

1

3

Nowitzki

20:06

4-12

2-2

3

3

2

11

Ferrell

32:12

8-16

2-2

4

4

2

21

Matthews

19:06

3-10

0-0

1

2

1

7

Brussino

33:04

4-12

1-2

5

5

4

11

Powell

32:28

8-14

1-3

5

2

2

21

Uthoff

26:48

4-8

2-3

9

1

3

12

Hammons

18:57

2-7

1-2

1

0

2

5

Mejri

9:11

2-2

1-2

3

0

1

5

Harris

8:32

3-5

0-0

1

1

1

9

Totals

240

41-97

13-19

44

23

23

111

Percentages: FG .423, FT .684. 3-Point Goals: 16-45, .356 (Powell 4-8, Harris 3-5, Ferrell 3-6, Uthoff 2-3, Brussino 2-10, Nowitzki 1-2, Matthews 1-8, Hammons 0-1, Finney-Smith 0-2). Team Rebounds: 7. Team Turnovers: 10 (10 PTS). Blocked Shots: 2 (Hammons, Powell). Turnovers: 10 (Ferrell 2, Powell 2, Brussino, Hammons, Harris, Matthews, Nowitzki, Uthoff). Steals: 5 (Powell 2, Finney-Smith, Noel, Uthoff).

Phoenix

Min

FG-A

FT-A

R

A

F

Pt

Chriss

17:04

3-4

2-2

4

3

1

9

Warren

29:22

8-8

3-3

7

0

1

21

Len

28:14

5-7

4-5

10

1

2

14

Booker

22:44

8-15

4-5

2

3

1

21

Ulis

33:27

7-13

4-4

3

10

0

20

Bender

35:13

4-10

0-0

8

3

4

9

Jones

27:49

5-11

4-4

3

0

4

15

Price

18:38

0-0

0-0

1

3

2

0

Williams

12:56

4-7

5-7

2

1

1

13

Millsap

12:00

0-5

0-0

2

1

2

0

Dudley

2:33

0-0

2-2

1

1

0

2

Totals

240

44-80

28-32

43

26

18

124

Percentages: FG .550, FT .875. 3-Point Goals: 8-19, .421 (Warren 2-2, Ulis 2-3, Chriss 1-1, Jones 1-1, Booker 1-4, Bender 1-6, Millsap 0-2). Team Rebounds: 8. Team Turnovers: 12 (21 PTS). Blocked Shots: 4 (Len 2, Bender, Ulis). Turnovers: 12 (Bender 3, Ulis 3, Booker 2, Jones 2, Len, Millsap). Steals: 6 (Jones 3, Warren 2, Bender). Att.—18,055 (18,422). T—2:03.

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