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Big second half from Nowitzki, Ellis puts Mavs in playoffs; could put Suns out of them

Apr 13, 2014, 1:25 AM EDT

Dirk Nowitzki and Monta Ellis have carried the Dallas Mavericks all season long.

So it’s fitting that Dallas is now in the playoffs because those two combined for 44 second half points Saturday night, turning an 11 point halftime deficit into a 101-98 Mavericks win at home.

With the victory Dallas secures a playoff spot in the West. They likely will be the seven seed and draw Oklahoma City in the first round (mathematically Dallas could get the six or eight seed).

The loss was a body blow to the Suns, who had their chances late but couldn’t convert.

Now the Suns are the nine seed, half a game back of Memphis and needing help to make the playoffs. To snag the eight seed Phoenix needs to beat Memphis on Monday and Sacramento Wednesday — then get help from the Lakers on Sunday or Dallas next Wednesday beating Memphis. That’s a problem. The Lakers suck, and with Dallas having secured their playoff spot they likely rest key guys on Wednesday night. It’s a tough spot for Phoenix.

But that’s where they left themselves after missing their chances in Dallas.

In the first half Eric Bledsoe attacked and carved up Ellis, scoring 17 points on 6-of-7shooting, plus he had five assists. He looked like the Bledsoe the Suns thought they traded for, the one who could be a franchise cornerstone. Channing Frye had 15 first half points hitting 5-of-5 from three. The Suns scored 57 first half points and played with the desperation you expect from a team fighting for its playoff lives.

But in the second half the Mavs played like former champions fighting for their playoff lives.

Nowitzki and Ellis were scoring but everyone was making plays. With 12.9 seconds left and the Suns down two Phoenix got the ball to Bledsoe on a curl around the free throw line and he drove for a game-trying layup, but Brandan Wright slid across and blocked it. Then when Markieff Morris had a shot at a three to tie it at the last second, but there again was Wright with the contest.

Ellis finished with 37 points, Nowitzki had 23. Bledsoe had 29 to lead the Suns, Goran Dragic was held to 13 points on 6-of-18 shooting.

After the game the Suns locker room was dejected, according to reports. They knew they needed this one, and they almost had it. However it got away from them.

Dirk Nowitzki has done that to a lot of teams over the years.

  1. retxedfred - Apr 13, 2014 at 3:16 AM

    The Mavs are going to be a tough out for the Thunder.

  2. ProBasketballPundit - Apr 13, 2014 at 4:10 AM

    Nooooo! I know Memphis has talented players but the Suns are more fun to watch and would be a more exciting team to watch in the playoffs. They already lost the season series to Memphis though… so it’s a long shot.

    • therealhtj - Apr 13, 2014 at 2:08 PM

      They coulda had Pau Gasol for Okafors dead weight contract and the Pacers first rounder, but they got greedy. The proverbial hog who got slaughtered.

  3. jadaruler - Apr 13, 2014 at 4:25 AM

    Have it all Monta.

  4. peddealer - Apr 13, 2014 at 8:04 AM

    Take Dat Wit Chew Punk B—-s!!!


  5. ufools - Apr 13, 2014 at 8:56 AM

    I said Phoenix would miss playoffs 2 months ago… no surprise.

    • bigmeechy74 - Apr 13, 2014 at 12:02 PM

      wow. You are psychic. Impressive. not

  6. asimonetti88 - Apr 13, 2014 at 11:38 AM

    Even if they miss the playoffs the Suns exceeded most expectations this year and will have a lot to build on for next year, especially with multiple draft picks

  7. bigmeechy74 - Apr 13, 2014 at 12:03 PM

    Hmm… Let’s see… A high flying, overachieving, young exciting team loses to the most boring team in the NBA full of 80 year olds. Awesome!!! My God Dallas is SO BORING. Just seeing their uniforms makes me want to go to sleep. (that being said I think they may beat okc)

    • urodaddy07 - Apr 13, 2014 at 1:57 PM

      Dallas plays good basket basketball, have good shooting, they move the ball and have a good bench with some decent athletes and they play good team defence. What’s boring about them? I keep hearing people say that, and I don’t get it. Is it that you guys simply pick up something somebody else has said and run with it? Quit saying dumb crap. They’re a good team. I like watching good ball.

      • bigmeechy74 - Apr 13, 2014 at 6:47 PM

        I said they were boring 5 years ago. They just aren’t interesting. There are no young and up and coming players on the team. Am I supposed to still be excited by vince carter and shawn marion and watching dirk do those 1 legged fade aways? Dirk is one of the best players ever, I respect the hell out of him, but that doesn’t mean that I’d rather watch the mavs then see dragic, bledsoe, and green fly around the court attacking the rim and shooting 3’s.

  8. ranfan12 - Apr 13, 2014 at 12:54 PM

    Monta has come a long way. It’s a lot easier having another great scorer/hall of famer on the team. His shooting with the bucks was atrocious l

  9. peddealer - Apr 13, 2014 at 10:39 PM

    I actually am in post graduate school, of all things. Also, I went to private school to focus on a sport that required a ton of traveling and my HS was very good about working with us, while sometimes away from school.

    Should never judge a book by it’s cover.

    Take Dat Wit Chew is an immortal statement Dirk made from that very special season in 2011!

  10. peddealer - Apr 14, 2014 at 10:47 AM

    So now you shut up and eat ur words eh?

    Big German for life!

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