Deron Williams leads Mavs past Suns on Star Wars Night
DALLAS (AP) -- Deron Williams scored 27 points and the Dallas Mavericks won without Dirk Nowitzki, surging past the lowly Phoenix Suns 91-78 Sunday night.
Dwight Powell had six straight points for all his scoring to give the Mavericks the lead for good in the fourth quarter.
Nowitzki sat out the opener of a back-to-back set and the first of Dallas' five games in seven nights. The Mavericks were hoping they could rest their 37-year-old leading scorer and still beat a team with 13 straight road losses.
Dallas did that thanks to a 23-5 run over the final 9 minutes and gave up its fewest points in the fourth quarter this season, outscoring Phoenix 23-9.
Powell's points turned a 75-74 deficit into an 80-75 lead, with Raymond Felton assisting on a pair of baskets before Powell made two free throws.
Rookie guard Devin Booker led the Suns in scoring for the third straight game with 19 points.
It appeared the Suns would make Dallas regret the decision to sit Nowitzki the night before a trip to Atlanta, going up 65-60 in the third quarter on a 10-0 run that included eight consecutive points from Booker.
The lead was still five after Markieff Morris hit a fadeaway jumper early in the fourth quarter. But the Suns didn't make another field goal until there was just 1:15 left, a dunk by Morris that cut Phoenix's deficit to 89-78 and ended a 21-3 Dallas surge.
Morris was the only player to score in the fourth quarter for Phoenix, which went 3 of 15 from the field and shot 37 percent for the game in its 14th straight road loss. The last win away from home was Dec. 7 at Chicago, and the Suns dropped to 2-19 starting with a blowout loss at Utah on Dec. 21.
Tyson Chandler had his seventh double-double with 12 points and 13 rebounds in another visit to Dallas, the team he helped to an NBA championship in 2011. His replacement, Zaza Pachulia, just missed what would have been a career-best 22nd double-double. He had nine points and 15 rebounds.
Chandler Parsons scored 15 points, while Felton and J.J. Barea added 10 apiece for Dallas. Felton had a game-high six assists.
Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said the decision to rest Nowitzki was based on the schedule, not recent right knee swelling that forced him to miss a game. In his 18th season, Nowitzki sat out for the second time in three games after skipping the second night of a back-to-back at Golden State on Wednesday.
Suns: Coach Jeff Hornacek suggested that guards Brandon Knight (left groin strain) and Ronnie Price (right big toe surgery) might sit out until the All-Star break to take advantage of the extra time off. Knight missed his sixth straight game against Dallas, and Price has been out since Jan. 8. Phoenix's last game before the break is Feb. 10. ... F T.J. Warren sat out against the Mavericks with a sprained right ankle. He was injured in Cleveland and didn't move well two nights later at New York.
Mavericks: G Devin Harris missed his fourth straight game with a right big toe injury. He had surgery on the same toe in 2013, and Carlisle said his "ignorant" guess was that the injury was related to the previous problem. ... G Wesley Matthews had his fourth straight single-digit scoring game with seven points on 2-of-12 shooting.
Suns: Start a seven-game homestand, their longest of the season, Tuesday against Toronto.
Mavericks: At Atlanta on Monday.