Dallas Winning Streak Ends


Monday, April 2nd 2007, 7:52 am
By: News On 6


The Dallas Mavericks had a long winning streak, the NBA's best record _ and no chance.

Who would when the Phoenix Suns put on a display like they did Sunday?

``When we play well, no one is going to defend us well,'' MVP Steve Nash said. ``This was one of those games where we were close to our best.''

Leandro Barbosa scored 29 points, Amare Stoudemire added 24, and the Suns rolled to a 126-104 victory. Nash had 23 points and 11 assists, while Shawn Marion rebounded from a scoreless first quarter to finish with 20 points on 8-for-10 shooting. He also frustrated Dallas' Dirk Nowitzki most of the afternoon.

Elsewhere Sunday, Washington's Caron Butler was lost indefinitely with a broken hand; LeBron James skipped Cleveland's game with a sore knee; and Dwyane Wade said he will take part in Miami's practice Monday.

All took a back seat after Phoenix put on one of the most impressive performances in the NBA this season.

In other games, it was: Detroit 94, Miami 88; Chicago 105, Atlanta 97; Golden State 122, Memphis 117; Washington 121, Milwaukee 107; Utah 86, Houston 83; Minnesota 105, Orlando 104, in overtime; Boston 98, Cleveland 96; Toronto 107, Charlotte 94; Indiana 100, San Antonio 99; Denver 114, Seattle 103; and the Los Angeles Lakers 126, Sacramento 103.

The Suns shot 65 percent (46-of-71), the highest in the league this season and a record for any team at US Airways Center, formerly America West Arena. Phoenix shot 86 percent in the fourth quarter (13-for-15), 4-of-4 on 3s.

``That's about as good as we can play,'' Phoenix coach Mike D'Antoni said.

It was too good for the Mavs (61-12), who had their nine-game winning streak snapped and have dropped two straight against the Suns.

``We need a practice,'' Dallas coach Avery Johnson said. ``We haven't practiced in a while because of our schedule, a really good hard practice. We need a good practice to clean up a few things, and it showed today.''

The game was close until Phoenix took the lead for good in the third quarter, then turned it into a runaway in the fourth. The 126 points were the most Dallas has allowed this season in a game that didn't go into overtime. The only time the Mavericks allowed more in any game was _ not surprisingly _ against the Suns in a 129-127 double-overtime loss to Phoenix last month.

Josh Howard scored 28 for Dallas, 18 in a tight first half that featured 13 ties and nine lead changes. Jerry Stackhouse added 25 and Jason Terry 20. Nowitzki scored 21 but was just 6-of-18 shooting.

Offense wasn't the problem for Dallas, which has allowed Stoudemire to make 26 of 32 shots in the last two meetings. The Mavs knew they didn't play their best _ though it may not have mattered if they did.

``Every game is a big game for us. This particular big game was bad for us because we came out flat,'' Johnson said. ``They had more energy and hit all their shots. I don't know when a team shot that well from the field, so let's just give them all the credit.''

Wizards 121, Bucks 107

At Milwaukee, Gilbert Arenas scored 19 points and Caron Butler also had 19 before fracturing his right hand early in the second half. The All-Star forward was not optimistic about a return this season to the Wizards, who moved back into first place in the Southeast Division.

Celtics 98, Cavaliers 96

At Boston, with LeBron James and Paul Pierce sitting out, Delonte West made two free throws with 1.9 seconds left to lift the Celtics.

James was diagnosed with right knee tendinitis and was scheduled to travel to Minnesota with the team and be re-evaluated Monday.

Pistons 94, Heat 88

Richard Hamilton, who had missed Detroit's last four games, scored 17 of his 19 points in the second half.

Shaquille O'Neal led the visiting Heat with 23 points and Jason Williams added 21.

Jazz 86, Rockets 83

At Houston, Mehmet Okur scored 20 points, Carlos Boozer added 13 and Utah overcame a late deficit to remain ahead of the Rockets in fourth place in the Western Conference.

Yao Ming led the Rockets with 35 points, 16 rebounds and four blocks.

Raptors 107, Bobcats 94

At Toronto, Chris Bosh had 24 points and 16 rebounds to help the Raptors clinch their first playoff spot in five years.

Pacers 100, Spurs 99

At Indianapolis, Jamaal Tinsley's layup over Tim Duncan with 1.1 seconds left helped Indiana snap San Antonio's six-game winning streak.

The Pacers ended a four-game losing streak despite playing without Jermaine O'Neal, their leading scorer, who sat out with a sore left knee. Tinsley finished with 20 points and eight assists.

Nuggets 114, SuperSonics 103

Carmelo Anthony scored 32 points _ his 29th game with 30 or more points, Allen Iverson added 21 of his 26 after halftime, and visiting Denver snapped a three-game losing streak.

Earl Watson led Seattle with a career-high 28 points, but the Sonics had their three-game win streak snapped.

Lakers 126, Kings 103

At Los Angeles, Kobe Bryant had 19 points and a season-high 13 assists to lead the Lakers over sinking Sacramento, which lost for the 10th time in 12 games.

Bulls 105, Hawks 97

At Atlanta, Luol Deng scored 30 points and Kirk Hinrich had 22 in Chicago's 11th straight victory over the Hawks.

Josh Smith finished with 24 points for Atlanta, which has dropped six straight overall.

Warriors 122, Grizzlies 117

At Oakland, Calif., Jason Richardson scored 13 of his 26 points in the fourth quarter and Golden State overcame the early ejection of Baron Davis.

Timberwolves 105, Magic 104, OT

At Orlando, Fla., Ricky Davis scored a season-high 36 points and made the winning 3-pointer.