The Dallas Mavericks and the Phoenix Suns are heading down the stretch towards the playoffs and every game is important at this point. Whether its playing for postion or looking to end the season on a high note, these teams need to win this game and that is why ESPN chose to put on as the second game of a doubleheader.
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There was no Vince Carter, no Marcin Gortat and no Steve Nash — all of them departed before the media were allowed in the dressing room — to quiz about the impact of Friday’s loss to New Orleans. So it was left to guard Jared Dudley to assess the fallout from blowing a seven-point lead in the fourth quarter and losing 106-100 to the team the Suns had to beat.
In the battle for the last Western Conference playoff spots, the Suns are three games behind eighth-place Memphis — which lost Friday — and four games behind seventh-place New Orleans with 10 to play. That makes this a very critical game against the Mavericks.
The Suns are dealing with injuries at nearly every position on the floor. Mickael Pietrus didn’t play with a quad injury. Vince Carter had the stomach flu and lasted only nine minutes before leaving the bench. Marcin Gortat had his nose sent due west in a collision with the back of Steve Nash’s head, ending his night late in the third quarter.
Despite all the woes, the Suns play good in this spot. The Suns are 5-1-1 ATS in their last 7 games overall and they are 15-7-2 ATS in their last 24 Sunday games.
The Suns catch the Mavericks in the second half of back-to-back games and get a big win to keep them in the playoff race.
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