Peters, Suns top Mavs as reserves rule for lottery teams
It will be a night to remember anyway in a forgettable season for both teams.
“I looked over at coach Carlisle and he was looking at me wide-eyed and I’m like, ‘I’m exhausted right now,'” said Peters, who bounced back and forth from the G League most of the season. “I know I missed a layup at the end. I’m not going to fret over it too much. Cool night for sure.”
The Mavericks (24-58) entered the game tied for the third-worst record in the NBA and stayed that way while sitting eight players. That included star Dirk Nowitzki, whose 20th season ended last week when he had ankle surgery.
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Atlanta finished with the same record after losing at home to Philadelphia 121-113. Orlando can join the Mavericks and Hawks with a loss at home to Washington on Wednesday.
Phoenix (21-61), which had already clinched the worst record and best lottery odds for the No. 1 pick in the draft in June, also didn’t dress eight players. The Suns won for the second time in 19 games to wrap up their third straight season with at least 58 losses.
Johnathan Motley led Dallas with 21 points.
Peters, who had 46 points total in 19 previous games, was 8 of 13 from 3-point range. The Suns shot 76 percent in the second half while outscoring the Mavericks 80-43. It matched the most points the Mavericks have given up in a half.
“We had trouble stopping Larry Bird, dressed up as Alec Peters,” Carlisle said.
DIRK FOR 21
Nowitzki revealed that he spent all season dealing with bone spurs in his left ankle that finally resulted in surgery last week. The German star has maintained that he planned to return next season, which would make him the first to play 21 seasons with the same franchise.
The timing of the surgery was designed to give Nowitzki plenty of time to recover for his offseason regimen. He said he would spend about three weeks in the walking boot he wore in his meeting with reporters before the game.
“I didn’t miss a lot of games this year,” said Nowitzki, who played 77 games, a record for a player in his 20th season. “I felt fine most of the time. I always said all year that I want to fulfill that two-year contract if possible. I saw nothing this year that was going to stop it.”
The four Suns players not already listed as out who sat were Devin Booker (right hand sprain), Troy Daniels (left ankle sprain), T.J. Warren (left knee inflammation) and Marquese Chriss (lower back/leg pain). … Rookie Shaquille Harrison had his first NBA double-double with career highs of 18 points and 10 assists.