EditorsNote: 5th graf, change for straight to four straight
Rookie of the Year favorite Luka Doncic scored a game-high 30 points and got the best of No. 1 overall pick Deandre Ayton in leading the Dallas Mavericks to a 104-94 win over the visiting Phoenix Suns on Wednesday night.
Doncic, who on Tuesday was listed as probable with a back issue, didn’t show any signs of injury. It was the fourth time he has hit the 30-point mark, and he added six rebounds, five assists, three steals and 10 made free throws, just five fewer than the Suns made as a team.
Ayton missed his first six shots and didn’t get his lone field goal to fall until he slammed through an alley-oop pass to start the fourth quarter. But by then, Dallas had used a 16-2 run in third quarter to flip a seven-point deficit into a seven-point lead that it would only build upon. Ayton finished the game with six points, five rebounds and five fouls.
The Suns, led by T.J. Warren’s 20 points and seven rebounds, lost to the Mavs for the first time in three games this season, and snapped an overall five-game win streak over Dallas, which ditched its own three-game losing skid.
Phoenix played a second consecutive game without point guard and leading scorer Devin Booker due to back spasms. After Tuesday’s big comeback win over Sacramento, Phoenix failed again to put together consecutive wins since it won four straight in mid-December.
Doncic, who scored 27 points in the Mavs’ ugly home loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Monday, got plenty of scoring help with the entire starting lineup notching double-digit points. Harrison Barnes, who dropped his only 3-pointer with 6:13 to go for a 90-81 lead, had 17 points, Wesley Matthews scored 14, Maxi Kleiber had 13 and DeAndre Jordan scored 11.
Josh Jackson contributed 17 points for the Suns, who got a strong bench effort from Richaun Holmes with 16 points, six rebounds and five assists. Kelly Oubre Jr. finished with 14 points, and Elie Okobo had 10.
—Field Level Media