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NBA Preview from The Sports Network



Saturday, December 21st (All times Eastern)

Dallas Mavericks (15-11) at Phoenix Suns (15-10), 9 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Phoenix Suns are playing great basketball and will try to ride the momentum Saturday night when they welcome the Dallas Mavericks to US Airways Center.

The Suns have won six of their last seven and to the shock of most, are in great shape in the Western Conference. They atoned for a home loss to the San Antonio Spurs on Friday night with a 103-99 road victory in Denver.

The Nuggets led by as many as 21 points late in the first half and held a 10- point cushion after three quarters. Phoenix outscored Denver 31-17 over the final 12 minutes.

"We never quit. We came out and fought all the way to the end," Markieff Morris said. "It's a great feeling."

Markieff Morris filled the stat sheet off the bench with 25 points, six rebounds, three steals and three blocks for Phoenix. Gerald Green made six 3- pointers en route to 19 points, and Marcus Morris netted 14.

The Suns' reserves outscored Denver's bench, 64-34.

Goran Dragic (17) and Eric Bledsoe (10) were the only Suns starters in double figures Friday. Miles Plumlee pulled down 11 rebounds.

The Mavericks suffered a disappointing loss on Friday night, falling to the Toronto Raptors, 109-108, at home. The setback stopped a two-game winning streak for Dallas, which lost for just the third time all season at home.

DeMar DeRozan's jumper with 1:11 left in overtime proved to be the difference.

The Mavs had a chance to win the game after Jae Crowder grabbed a rebound with 10 seconds left, but Ellis' jumper at the buzzer rimmed out.

"What happened at the end -- you know it's going to be one shot, one stop, and I think we did the right things, but we couldn't make the last shot. But it is what it is," said Mavs guard Jose Calderon.

The former Raptor, Calderon, was the game's leading scorer with 23 points. He finished with 19 assists as his backcourt mate, Monta Ellis, had a terrific game with 21 points and 11 assists.

Dirk Nowitzki chipped in 22 points and Shawn Marion added 14 for a Mavericks team that shot 50.5 percent from the field. They committed 17 points, which led to 32 Toronto points.

Dallas took three of four meetings between the two squads last season and is 16-4 in the last 20 against the Suns. The Mavs are 7-3 in their last 10 in Phoenix.

12/21 11:02:30 ET

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