Steve Nash left Friday's game just minutes into the first quarter after colliding with Dallas Mavericks center Tyson Chandler and lying on the court for several moments. The Phoenix Suns assessed Nash's injury as a "stinger," and he did not return -- and neither did the Phoenix Suns' chances of winning the first game of a brutal three-game road swing. After a brief foray at .500, the Suns once again sink below the water line after losing to the Mavs, 106-91.
Backup point guard Goran Dragic performed admirably in Nash's absence, finishing with 14 points and 10 assists in 40 minutes, but the team suffered heavily in the precious few moments Dragic rested. Beyond Dragic, the team got solid contributions from Channing Frye (eight points, 14 rebounds before fouling out in the fourth) and Hakim Warrick (15 points, 14 rebounds in 28 minutes). The remaining Suns, however, were largely invisible.
The entire team was cold, shooting 39% from the field and a dismal 24% from three. Jason Richardson, who busted out of a prolonged slump in Wednesday's win over the Minnesota Timberwolves, once again found his shot failing him, going 5-for-14 for 12 points. Shockingly enough, Richardson was the only starter to reach double figures.
With Josh Childress once again a healthy scratch and only Warrick providing any reasonably efficient offense, the Suns were unable to overcome Dallas' 45% shooting, which included 18 points a piece from Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Terry. The Mavericks have won six straight games at home against Phoenix and now the Suns have to head off to a back-to-back against the Oklahoma City Thunder (19-8) and San Antonio Spurs (22-3), starting Sunday night.
The Suns have now lost four of their last five games, after winning three in a row. After the game, Steve Nash was feeling better and said he was optimistic he would play on Sunday.