The Dallas Mavericks attempt to halt a seven-game losing streak to Phoenix when they host the Suns on Wednesday. Dallas dropped this season's first two meetings by an average of 15.5 points and has lost the last four versus Phoenix by an average of 18 points.
The Suns halted a six-game slide with a 115-111 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday and overcame a 21-point deficit despite being without star guard Devin Booker (back). Phoenix is 2-9 without Booker this season and a decision on whether he will play against the Mavericks hasn't yet been made. Dallas has lost three straight games and 11 of 14 and coach Rick Carlisle criticized the lack of ball movement in the second half of Monday's 107-97 home loss to the Los Angeles Lakers. "I don't think we're ever selfish," veteran forward Dirk Nowitzki told reporters. "I think guys are like, 'OK, I can win this for us.' And then the ball sticks a bit. And then the next guy is like, 'I can win this for us.' I don't think it's selfish. I just think it's guys thinking they can make plays for us."
TV: 8:30 p.m. ET, FS Arizona (Phoenix), FS Southwest (Dallas) LINE: Mavericks -9.5
ABOUT THE SUNS (10-32): Forward Kelly Oubre Jr. picked up the slack pertaining to Booker's absence by matching his career high of 26 points on 9-of-15 shooting in the win over Sacramento. Oubre is averaging 11.9 points in 11 games since being acquired from the Washington Wizards and he told reporters after the victory that he's finally starting to feel comfortable with his new team. "Honestly, it's finding a place to stay, knowing how to get to the arena, all the little things play a part in the psychological game," Oubre said. "I feel on top of it now and I'm settled in."
ABOUT THE MAVERICKS (18-22): Rookie forward Luka Doncic continued his stellar campaign with 27 points against the Lakers but he is listed as questionable to play against the Suns because of a lower back strain. Doncic has scored in double digits in 15 consecutive games, including two 30-point outings during the stretch. Dallas tallied just 30 second-half points against the Lakers after putting up 67 in the first half, leaving veteran guard J.J. Barea to term the meltdown as "embarrassing."
1. The Suns have prevailed in four straight visits to Dallas.
2. Mavericks PG Dennis Smith Jr. (back) missed practice Tuesday and his status will be firmed up Wednesday.
3. Phoenix recorded a season-high 18 steals against the Kings with two rookies - F Mikal Bridges and G De'Anthony Melton - notching four apiece.
PREDICTION: Mavericks 108, Suns 104 Bet Now
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