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Phoenix Suns At Dallas Mavericks: Suns Fall 98-89 Despite Gortat

The Phoenix Suns lost 98-89 to the Dallas Mavericks despite strong performances from Steve Nash and Marcin Gortat. Prior to their recent home stand, the Mavs had lost four of five, but now have a two-game winning streak on their hands.

Suns center Marcin Gortat had his first double-double of the season, with 22 points on 10-15 shooting and 10 rebounds, and Steve Nash looked a little like his old self after tallying 12 assists, but their efforts weren’t enough to overcome another woeful evening behind the three-point line, and unproductive bench play.

Phoenix shot 29 percent from three (5-for-17), continuing their poor aim from distance. So far this season, they’ve only had one game shooting above 31% from beyond the arc; it’s a troubling trend for a team that has feasted on the shot in the past. As a whole, the Suns shot 45% from the floor — a decent clip, but the bench was firing blanks at 29%.

The Suns starters logged their heaviest minutes of the young season, with struggling Channing Frye playing the least, at 15 minutes. No reserve saw more than 19 minutes of playing time and Hakim Warrick, the lucky Sun, was relatively uninspiring in his stretch on the floor.

It seems appropriate that Lamar Odom — who, to this point, had trouble finding his place in Dallas — would break out against Phoenix, a team he’s perpetually feasted upon. He had 15 points in limited minutes, though it was Dirk Nowitzki’s 20 and Jason Terry’s 18 that led the Mavs to the win.

The Suns were out-rebounded 53-42 in a game that saw their promising big men struggle overall. Rookie Markieff Morris, coming off his best game of the season, was quiet in only 17 minutes of play (after having played 32 minutes on Monday night). After opening the season with two solid games, backup center Robin Lopez has now put up four mediocre performances, including a 4-point, 0-rebound, 10-minute effort against Dallas.

Phoenix’s next game comes at US Airways Center on Friday evening against the hot Portland Trail Blazers. For more Phoenix Suns coverage, head over to SB Nation’s blog, Bright Side of the Sun.

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