PHOENIX -- Monta Ellia poured in 24 points to pace the Dallas Mavericks to a 110-107 victory over the Phoenix Suns on Friday night at the US Airways Center.
With the win the Mavs (24-17) are now in seventh place in the Western Conference standings -- one game ahead of the Suns (22-17).
The Suns had a chance to tie the game and send it into overtime. But PJ Tucker's long two-pointer went halfway down, and then Markieff Morris missed twice from near the basket as time expired.
Other than Ellis, the Mavs got 21 points from Dirk Nowitzki, a career-high 18 points and five assists from rookie point guard Shane Larkin, and 16 points from Shawn Marion.
The Mavs never trailed in this game and are now tied 1-1 with the Suns in the season series. That's crucial, just in case the two teams wound up tied when the regular season ends.
The Suns and Mavs only play one more time this season -- Apr. 12 in Dallas.
Goran Dragic led the Suns with 28 points and Morris added 23 points.
Larkin was huge for the Mavs, and he had to be. Especially since Larkin had to play 27 minutes because starting point guard Jose Calderon was limited to just 18 minutes after suffering a right knee contusion earlier in the game.
Also, rookie Gal Mekel, the other backup point guard, was also out after undergoing arthroscopic right knee surgery on Friday.
-- Dwain Price
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