PHOENIX -- Less than 48 hours after a brutal loss to the Los Angeles Clippers, the Dallas Mavericks did their best to flush out the garbage of that crucial 129-127 setback.
And as fate would have it, Friday's game against the Phopenix Suns almost came down to similar circustances as Wednesday's game against the Clippers.
The Mavs led the Suns by as much as 12 points Friday night, and by seven points after rookie Shane Larkin made a pair of free throws with 1:19 left. But a few chaotic plays later and the Suns were bringing the ball inbounds with 6.4 seconds left and trailing only by three points.
However, instead of what occurred Wednesday, when the Mavs blew a 17-point lead with 4:48 to go and lost to the Clippers, this time Dallas found a way to hold on and defeat the Suns, 110-107.
"We showed a lot of character,'' coach Rick Carlisle said. "What happened (Wednesday) night is a situation where you have to respond the right way and it shows the kind of character that you have and our guys showed it tonight.''
The Mavs (24-17) never trailed against the Suns (22-17). Dallas is now in seventh place in the Western Conference standings, while Phoenix dropped to the No. 8th spot.
But as they reached the midway point of the season seven games better than they were last year at this juncture, the Mavs do so knowing they held off a great rally by the Suns.
"Phoenix kept making runs,'' Carlisle said. "It was a very hard game, very physical.
"They came in and wanted to make it more of a slugfest and our guys stood up to it and made the plays we had to make. It got hairy at the end, but it gets hairy at the end."
-- Dwain Price
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