How it happened: This game didn’t come down to a call.
After falling behind by double figures in the third quarter, Dallas finished strong, closing that frame with a 13-4 run and dominating the fourth quarter, in which the Mavs outscored the Suns by a 35-24 margin.
The Mavs’ bench came up big, with reserves accounting for half their six double-digit scorers. Vince Carter had 17 points, including a seven-point flurry early in the fourth quarter. Jae Crowder contributed 13 points on 5-of-7 shooting, and recently-returned-to-the-rotation Brandan Wright added 11 points on 5-of-7 shooting.
Shooting guard O.J. Mayo led the Mavs with 20 points, although he had an off shooting night (7-of-19 on field goals). Point guard Darren Collison stuffed the box score with 19 points on 6-of-9 shooting, six rebounds, six assists, two blocks and a steal.
Forward Shawn Marion (14 points, 11 rebounds) posted his second straight double-double.
What it means: The Mavs ensured they wouldn’t be swept on this four-game trip, snapping a two-game losing streak. Dallas improved to 20-26 with the win, putting the Mavs 4.5 games behind the Houston Rockets for eighth place in the Western Conference.
Play of the game: Carter hit a pull-up 3 in transition to give the Mavs an 84-81 lead with a little less than nine minutes remaining. He got an easy steal off a wild pass from an airborne Goran Dragic, dribbled up the court and launched the shot when he saw Michael Beasley was on his heels.
Stat of the night: The Mavs committed only two of their 15 turnovers in the second half.