DALLAS – A lot of the Phoenix Suns players played heavy minutes during Friday’s 112-104 loss to the San Antonio Spurs.
The Dallas Mavericks hope to use that to their advantage when they host the Suns at 7:30 tonight at AmericanAirlinesCenter.
Eric Bledsoe and P. J. Tucker each played 37 minutes for the Suns against the Spurs, Gerald Green played 36 minutes, and Channing Frye punched the time clock for 34 minutes. That could bode well for the Mavs, who haven’t played since losing Thursday night to the Spurs, 109-100.
“We’ve just got to make it hard,’’ coach Rick Carlisle said. “The fact that a team’s on a back-to-back never guarantees anything, and they’re a younger group.
“The best thing that we can do is collectively be in a big-time scramble mode, make it hard for them to get their shots and put as much pressure on them as we can. It’s more about keeping the game simple and doing things hard and doing things efficiently than anything else.’’
Carlisle also is anticipating the Suns getting stronger by the return of guard Goran Dragic, who missed the game against the Spurs with a sprained left ankle.
“This is a game where the defensive scramble is going to be a big aspect of it because of the way these guys can break you down off the dribble,’’ Carlisle said. “And then from the standpoint of the matchups, top to bottom, Bledsoe and Dragic is one of the best paint attack guys, Green is one of the real key guys off the bench -- or if he happens to start for some reason.
“We’ve got to do a good job on him. When he gets off, they win.’’
Carlisle also lauded the play of Frye, and twins Markieff and Marcus Morris.
“The Morris (twins) are both terrific players, Frye is a big threat,’’ Carlisle said. “He stretches the floor, and they’ve got big guys that they go hard and they play above the rim.
“It’s a tough game to me, which is what it should be.’’
-- Dwain Price
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