Suns-Mavericks Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated January 22, 2012
With 10-time All-Star Dirk Nowitzki sidelined for at least three more games, the Dallas Mavericks are counting on their supporting cast to continue to help fill his void. If their latest effort is any indication, the Mavericks should be able to manage just fine. Looking to extend its winning streak at American Airlines Center to seven, Dallas tries for a ninth consecutive home victory over the Phoenix Suns on Monday night. Nowitzki, who has been hindered by a sore right knee, was held out of Saturday's 83-81 win at New Orleans. He isn't expected to return until Jan. 29 versus San Antonio at the earliest. "We just thought it was a good decision for everybody. I'm not happy right now anyways, so the guys are better off when I'm not out there," Nowitzki said. "This gives me time to really do some of the stuff that I couldn't do when my knee was bothering me the last couple weeks. I couldn't lift and run and do the things I needed to do." Dallas (10-7) didn't seem to miss a beat without the reigning NBA Finals MVP thanks in large part to Lamar Odom, who scored 16 points in his first start. "I liked the way Lamar played. We're a running team, so with him starting and getting more minutes, this is an opportunity for him to get in the habit of running and to raise his level of conditioning," coach Rick Carlisle said. "This week is a big week for him." Delonte West also scored 16 points while Shawn Marion and Jason Terry combined for 26. "We've gone through this last year when we lost (Nowitzki) for nine games," said Jason Kidd, who had nine rebounds and five assists. "We felt like we have a lot of talent here, and we feel like our depth is one of our keys. Everybody just has to step up." The Mavericks have outscored opponents by an average of 19.2 points in winning six straight at home - and given their recent history in this series - have to like their chances of keeping things going with Phoenix (6-9) coming to town. Dallas, which has beaten the Suns eight consecutive times on its own court by 12.7 points per game, has also taken six straight from Phoenix overall. The Suns, however, enter this matchup on a bit of a roll after posting back-to-back victories for just the second time this season. Two nights after prevailing 91-88 at New York, Phoenix handed Boston a 79-71 defeat Friday on the fourth stop of this five-game trip. Center Marcin Gortat recorded 24 points and 12 rebounds for his seventh double-double in as many games while Steve Nash had 11 points and nine assists. "Steve put on a show, and people found me in the right spots," Gortat said. "We have to start winning. We tripped a couple of times at home. Now we need to make it up on the road." Gortat is averaging 19.0 points and 11.3 boards in his last three matchups in this series. He had 22 and 10, respectively, in a 98-89 loss at Dallas on Jan. 4. Odom's career average of 16.3 points versus the Suns is his highest against any opponent. In addition to Nowitzki, Vince Carter (sprained left foot), who spent the majority of 2010-11 with Phoenix before signing with the Mavericks in the offseason, is also out.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Calipari got emotional watching former players as All-Stars

Report: Broncos negotiating deal with Malik Jackson

Michael Jordan wants Warriors to break Bulls record

Joe Mauer says concussions have affected his hitting

Kobe once tried to recruit Dirk Nowitzki to Lakers

Report: Broncos waiting on Manning to talk with Osweiler

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

NBA commish wants to look into hack-a-player issue

Report: Jose Fernandez has 'soured' on Marlins brass

Zach LaVine dedicates dunk contest win to Flip Saunders

Alleged Manning sexual assault cited in Tennessee lawsuit

Arian Foster: It's hard for me to watch football

Isaiah Thomas recruiting players at All-Star weekend

Strength coach gives Georgia OL reality check about weather

Country singer wears Fournette LSU jersey after losing bet

Carrie Underwood trolls Ryan Johansen for kissing stick

DeMarcus Cousins on looking angry: 'I'm an ugly dude'

WATCH: Dustin Johnson's son steals Jordan Spieth's club

Fans want Floyd Mayweather to buy their soccer team

Tennessee shares Valentines-themed photo of packed stadium

NY Post writer takes harsh shot at Jason Pierre-Paul

LaVine, Gordon put on best NBA dunk contest in years

WATCH: Thompson beats teammate Curry in 3-point contest

NFL teams, players hand out awesome Valentines

Earl Campbell ‘disappointed’ in Johnny Manziel, wants to help

Big man Karl-Anthony Towns wins NBA skills challenge

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

LaVine dedicates dunk contest win to Flip Saunders

Ranking the ten best free agent pitcher signings

Who had the best NBA All-Star Game of the last 40 years?

The winners and losers of the 2016 MLB offseason

On Kobe Bryant and taking greatness for granted

Bucks need to choose between wins, development

Fantasy booking WrestleMania 32

Unrestricted free agents each team must consider re-signing

QUIZ: Name the winners of the NBA Slam Dunk Contest

Thank you Daniel Bryan

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker