Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports
The Dallas Mavericks (1-0) defeated the Phoenix Suns (0-1) 111-95. This was a fantastic team win with 8 Mavericks scoring in double digits. Raymond Felton was the leading scorer for both teams with 18 points, adding 6 assists and 4 rebounds. With the Suns being a potential threat for a playoff spot in the bottom of the West this win is a great start. While leading the whole way after the first quarter the Suns tried to push back in the fourth quarter with a 10-2 run but the Mavs quickly shut that down.
As Eduardo Najera stated in the post game the key to the game was the break away in the third quarter. Dallas outscored Phoenix 34-21 fueled by team basketball on both sides of the floor. With 8 Mavericks scoring in double digits there was no highlight player. All five players on the court were factors. The Mavericks shot 47.1% from the field while the Suns only shot 39.1% .
The team also won the assist battle 24-15.
Most Valuable Players
I have two award winners today. On offense without question our MVP was Raymond Felton, he was incredibly active and aggressive all day with 18 points on 7-14 shooting. The Defensive Player of the Game was Zaza Pachulia, protecting the paint all game long posting his first double-double of the year with 10 points and 10 rebounds. At the same time, his counterpart, Tyson “ex-mav” Chandler had only 3 points and 6 rebounds and was an ultimate non factor.
My X-Factor of the game was Jeremy Evans. He only scored 7 points but at 6’9” was an incredible presence defensively on the wing. His on ball defense was great as well as his quick rotations and help defense while adding 6 rebounds. Look for him to continue to play a huge role for this team.
Charlie Villanueva played outstanding with 10 points in only 15 minutes. The era of a Deron Williams and Wesley Matthews back court looked outstanding each only playing a limited role but really showcasing their potential. Dwight Powell showed up all over the court with his hustle and athleticism. Rookie Justin Anderson and free agent pickup John Jenkins did not play a big role.
“It was a great win for us, but we have a lot of work left to do,” said Rick Carlisle.
While it was great to see the Mavs really put it on the Suns, this team from Phoenix really did not look good at all. Tomorrow night’s game against the vomit worthy Los Angeles Clippers will be much more telling.
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