The Dallas Mavericks and the Phoenix Suns have developed a growing rivalry after last season’s intense playoff matchup. The Mavericks overcame being down 2-0 against the Suns to win the series in seven.
Game 7 was in Phoenix, but the Mavericks ended the game by taking a 30-point lead before halftime. Thursday night’s matchup marks the third time they have faced each other since the playoffs, with each team grabbing a win.
In their most recent game, despite 41 points from Luka Dončić, the Mavericks still lost to the Washington Wizards 127-126, failing to get off a final shot to win the game. In the Suns’ last game, they won their fourth straight by dominating the Charlotte Hornets 128-97 in a complete game.
Mavericks Sliding Down Standings
The Mavericks have won only three games over their last 11. Nothing seems to be going right, with the injuries to crucial bigs Maxi Kleber and Christian Wood. Players who played well last season have dropped off, including Dorian Finney-Smith.
One player has been tasked with keeping the team afloat, and that is Dončić. He has the second-highest usage rate in the NBA, and through this 11-game slump, Dončić has averaged 31.6 points, 10.1 rebounds and 7.6 assists. There isn’t much more he could do to put his team in a position to win, but it has not worked.
Part of the team’s struggle is being so dependent on Dončić. The Mavericks are last in assists per game despite Dončić averaging the fourth most in the NBA. Other than Spencer Dinwiddie, no one can do anything with the ball. Dinwiddie has overperformed during this stretch, averaging 19.5 points and 5.6 assists in all 11 games.
The defense has been another big part of the issues, allowing at least 120 points in six of the eight recent losses.
Suns Look Good Again
Just over a week ago, the Suns were in a dark place, dropping to 12th in the Western Conference. Crucial players were hurt and they had lost 10 of 11 games. As the Suns start to get healthier, they are climbing in the standings and gaining confidence. Plus, they are still without Devin Booker, and Deandre Ayton has missed the last three games with a non-Covid illness.
While the Hornets did not prove to be an evenly matched opponent, how the Suns won was significant. They had six players in double figures, three off the bench. Cameron Johnson played 18 minutes and finished with 24 points while Chris Paul had 14 points and 11 assists, his first back-to-back 10-plus assist game since November. On top of that, the offensive growth of Mikal Bridges has continued. He is averaging 23 points during the winning streak.
However, the most noticeable improvements have been on the defensive end. The Suns have the league’s best defensive rating (103.1) over the last four games. They haven’t faced the best offenses, but the Brooklyn Nets, Memphis Grizzlies and Indiana Pacers all have players capable of big games.
Mavericks vs Suns Game Injuries
Mavericks vs Suns Head-to-Head
The Suns extended their regular-season win streak against Dallas to 10 games on opening night, coming back from 22 points down. The Mavericks won the last time they played 130-111, ending the streak, with Dončić scoring 33 points.
Mavericks vs Suns Game Information
- Game: Mavericks (25-24) vs Suns (25-24)
- Location: Footprint Center, Phoenix, AZ
- Day/Time: Thursday, Jan. 26, 10:00 p.m. EST
- Mavericks vs Suns Live Stream: NBA Game Pass
Mavericks vs Suns Betting Lines
Mavericks vs Suns Picks and Prediction
While Dončić is a big-game player and seems to put up his best performance when it matters the most, that might be hard against a hot Suns team clicking defensively. The teams are trending in opposite directions, the Suns are building momentum and the Mavericks keep struggling.
Being at home could help the Suns beat the Mavericks. The game should still be close, but the Suns are playing much better.
The Phoenix Suns are listed at -125 in our Vegas NBA lines. This means that if you wager $100 on the Suns, you have a chance to win $80. The Dallas Mavericks are +105, offering a chance to win $105 on a $100 wager.
The implied probability attached to the betting lines gives the Phoenix Suns a 55.56% chance to win, with the Dallas Mavericks at 48.78%.
Mavericks vs Suns Trends
Mavericks vs Suns Edge
Mavericks vs Suns Results
Mavericks vs Suns Game Summary
Suns vs Mavericks Previous Game (Dec. 05, 2022)
Whenever the Phoenix Suns and the Dallas Mavericks play, it will be hard not to bring up the great seven-game series these teams had in the second round of last season’s playoffs. They opened their season against one another in Phoenix, which was a great comeback win for the Suns.
After a disappointing loss to the Houston Rockets that ended a six-game winning streak, the Suns (16-7) dominated the San Antonio Spurs on the road 133-95. In their last game, the Mavericks (11-11) put on an impressive second half as they beat the New York Knicks 121-100.
Both teams are coming into this game off blowout wins and carrying a lot of history. Dončić is a player who lives for these moments and will have a good game, which does not mean the Mavericks will win. The Suns play a more balanced brand of basketball and are much more aware of who they are.
This is a game that could genuinely go either way. However, the Suns have been more consistent, which should help them keep the game close enough to cover or win straight up.