NBA: Suns Lose Important Game to Dallas
The playoff push has reached an all-time high in terms of “must-win” games with the Phoenix Suns needing to win their last two games to have any chance of making the postseason after losing on Saturday night 101-98 to the hands of the Dallas Mavericks.
With less than 20 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter and the Mavericks leading 100-98, Brandan Wright came up with a huge block on an off-balance shot by Eric Bledsoe. The Mavericks split a pair of free throws giving the Suns a chance, but Markieff Morris missed a shot from the top of the arch with five seconds remaining.
Monta Ellis had a game-high 37 points and Dirk Nowitzki added 23 points of his own in the contest. Bledsoe led the Suns in scoring with 29 points with five three-point shots made, but it was not enough for Phoenix. Goran Dragic (ankle) returned to the lineup, finishing with 13 points on 6-18 shooting.
The Mavericks (49-32) punched their ticket to the Western Conference Playoffs with the victory while Phoenix (47-33) dropped down to the 9th seed with only two games remaining.
The race for the final playoff spot in the West is now between the Suns and Memphis Grizzlies. Phoenix trails the Memphis Grizzlies by 0.5 games. The Grizzlies play the Lakers on Sunday night before traveling to Phoenix for a huge game on Monday night.
The Suns and Grizzlies both conclude their regular seasons on Wednesday when Memphis takes on Dallas and Phoenix plays Sacramento.