Thursday , Apr , 01 , 2010 C.Y. Ellis

Suns start road trip at Dallas

(Sports Network) – Two of the top teams in the Western Conference square off
tonight, as the Dallas Mavericks welcome the Phoenix Suns to American Airlines
Center.

This is the second time this season that the clubs have met. On November 1st,
All-Star Dirk Nowitzki scored 28 points and grabbed 15 rebounds, as Dallas
outlasted Phoenix 111-108 in double overtime in the season-opener for both
teams at America West Arena.

In last year’s playoffs Phoenix eliminated the Mavericks in an entertaining
six games during the Western Conference semifinals.

The Suns have dropped two straight games and play the first of a three-game
road trip. On Monday, J.R. Smith led a balanced attack with 26 points and 10
rebounds, as the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets stunned Phoenix, 91-87, at
America West Arena.

Raja Bell had 24 points in the loss to the Hornets the Suns, who had an eight-
game homecourt winning streak snapped. Reigning MVP Steve Nash struggled from
the field, shooting just 5-of-13, but did have 16 assists to go with his 14
points.

Shawn Marion finished with 12 points and 10 rebounds on Monday for the Suns,
while Kurt Thomas contributed 12 points and eight rebounds in defeat.

Phoenix is 4-2 on the road this season. The Suns will visit the Hornets on
Friday and Memphis on Saturday in the finale of the current road trip.

Dallas, which plays the second of a five-game homestand, will also try to get
back on the winning track this evening. On Monday, superstar Kobe Bryant
scored 43 points and hit a wild go-ahead three-pointer with 34.9 seconds left
to boost the Los Angeles Lakers to a 109-106 victory over the Mavericks at
American Airlines Center.

Nowitzki totaled 27 points and 15 rebounds in the loss to the Lakers for the
Mavericks, who had their five-game winning streak halted. Marquis Daniels
added 23 points and Jason Terry scored 20, but missed a potential tying three-
pointer at the buzzer.

The Mavericks are 7-3 at home this season. They will also host Phoenix,
Orlando and Minnesota on the current stand.

The road team has won four straight and five of the last six meetings in this
series, while the host has won nine of 14 and 12 of the last 18 contests.
The Suns have won two straight after losing their last seven at Dallas.

DAL PHO