The Dallas Mavericks finally found a way to win a game on their home court.
Sparked by the return of Deron Williams and one of the best games of the season by Chandler Parsons, the Mavs used a torrid third quarter to upend the Phoenix Suns 104-94 Monday night before a sellout crowd of 19,822 at American Airlines Center.
The Mavs (14-11) snapped a three-game home losing streak and ended this brief homestand with a 1-2 record.
Williams, who missed Saturday’s 114-111 home loss to the Washington Wizards with a stomach illness, was back in the starting lineup at point guard and finished with a team-high 18 points. His 3-pointer with 1:01 to go was the clincher, giving the Mavs a 101-92 lead.
“It was pretty clear [Saturday] night how important he is to our team when we were without him,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said of Williams. “There’s a real void. There’s leadership, there’s the play-making, there’s the scoring, and the guy’s helluva defender, too — much better than a lot of people anticipated.
“You miss a guy like that for a game, and it’s a big loss.”
The Mavs were 13-of-16 shooting in the third quarter, making 13 of their final 14 shots on their way to a 77-58 lead heading into the final period.
Phoenix used its attacking offense to climb within 83-73. But Parsons nailed a 3-pointer, was fouled by Sonny Weems, and stepped up and buried the free throw to complete a four-point play.
On the ensuing trip up the court, Parsons fired in another 3-pointer as the Mavs extended their lead to 90-73. The scoring spree was a shot in the arm for Parsons, who has been frustrated with his minutes restriction following off-season surgery on his right knee. He finished Monday night with 17 points on 5-of-10 shooting in a season-high 28 minutes.
“He was aggressive. He’s been working harder than he’s ever worked,” Carlisle said. “He was in here [Sunday] on an off-day working, and he’s going to outlast this situation, this whole rehab, this whole re-conditioning thing.
“It’s a mental as well as a physical challenge, and he took the mental challenge tonight and just kept hanging because he missed his first three or four shots. He kept hanging in there and kept playing his butt off and kept playing hard.”
The Mavs used a 26-6 run to build an 83-60 lead early in the fourth quarter. From there, it was just a matter of holding on and withstanding one furious rally from the Suns, who got within 98-92 with 1:21 to go before Williams sealed it with his 3-pointer.
Dallas shot 49.4 percent from the field and got 17 points from Raymond Felton, 14 from Dirk Nowitzki, 13 from Wesley Matthews and 12 points and a season-high six steals from Devin Harris.
The Mavs led 25-21 after the first quarter and 46-43 at the half. Then came that thunderous performance in the third quarter which broke the Suns’ back.
“I thought we played extremely hard from start to finish,” Carlisle said. “I think our guys had a good recollection of the other two times we’ve played these guys and how aggressive they are in turning you over and how athletic, strong and attacking.
“We knew we just had to keep hanging and keep grinding, and keep trying to stay in front of them and keep attacking them. It was a really important win for us.”