The Phoenix Suns used a back-breaking middle two quarters to run over the Dallas Mavericks, behind Goran Dragic's 23 points, Eric Bledsoe's second career triple double and Isaiah Thomas' ability to draw late fouls and make free throws.
This makes four straight games - and four straight wins - that the three point guards have finished the game together.
The Mavericks got to within 7 points with a minute left on a run of three-pointers by the Mavericks' Dirk Nowitzki (22 points overall) and Monta Ellis. Tyson Chandler was a beast with 22 points and 14 rebounds. Overall, the Mavericks shot better than the Suns (47% to 45%) but the Suns held on to win a big game.
The Suns began the game just like they've played most all their other home games - with a defensive turnstile that was overgreased. The Mavs mad 5 of their first 7 shots and had no answer for the Mavs in a 22-12 deficit to start.
The Mavs began substituting then, and the Suns got back into it thanks to a couple of Gerald threes and some hustle from Miles Plumlee and P.J. Tucker. But they gave the Mavs four chances to score at the end of the quarter thanks to real bad rebounding efforts.
Suns down 26-25 at the end of one.
Each team started sloppy, with turnovers and missed WIIIIDE open shots. The Suns could not hit open threes, or open layups, or open free throws (is there any other kind?).
In fact, the Suns didn't score for nearly five minutes, after getting down by 7 even though the Mavs appeared to be trying to keep it close.
In other words, the quarter started ugly.
Then Rondo made a three, meaning he's at least as good at scoring as Gerald Green this quarter.
Hornacek went to the Hydra with 5 minutes left in the second. I mean, if you're already giving up tons of offensive boards why not, right?
It worked, of course. The Suns got the tempo up real high and took the lead at 44-41 before the Mavericks could call a timeout to stem the tide. And the tide was definitely in the Suns favor at this point.
By the end of the second, it was a 53-45 Suns lead behind the spin cycle called the Hydra.
The Suns completely blew the door off the game in the third, taking a 19-point lead at one point and leaving the Mavericks shaking their heads in frustration. Only Charlie Villanueva kept the Mavs in the game, and that's all I need to say about that. Villanueva led the Mavs with 15 points in three quarters.
The Suns made 5 of 7 three-pointers in the third and shot 57% overall and took an 89-74 lead at the end of three.
Goran Dragic had 21 points in 28 minutes while Gerald Green had 12 in 14 minutes, while Alex Len had 15 points and 5 rebounds in 22 minutes. But he had 4 fouls already. Good thing Miles Plumlee was playing well - with 8 rebounds in 13 minutes.
In the 4th, the Suns did not let their foot off the gas no matter much their instinct may have told them to (I mean, how else can you explain the first 29 games?).
Both teams kept in their starters while the Mavericks tried to make a run, but the Suns kept the lead as the Mavericks kept missing.
The Suns played hard, made the extra passes and despite not shooting well they dominated the game against the Mavericks.
The game got so out of hand (even more than the score) that the Suns started having a dunk fest and the Mavericks were having none of it.
And then the Suns DID let off the gas, and Dallas was suddenly within 11 after 5 straight points - a three from Nowitzki and a steal/layup by Rondo.
Still 4 minutes left.
Eric Bledsoe then scored the next 5 points to put the lead back to 16 with a minute left. Dirk continued Dirking though, scoring 7 more to make it 12 straight points to cut it to 9 with 1:41 left. The Mavericks later cut it to 7 but just ran out of time and big shots.
This is a big win for the Suns, the second in a row.