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Mavs stomps Suns amid Luka Doncic’s early exit; Spencer Dinwiddie catches flame

Photo: Matt York/AP

With Luka Doncic exiting early, hopes have disappeared for the Dallas Mavericks to compete.

But against overwhelming odds on the road, they made it through and emerged for possibly a much needed win of their season.

Sans Doncic, who took a premature exit early in the first quarter due to an ankle injury, the Mavericks powered their way to escape the Phoenix Suns, 99-95, in their rivalry matchup this Thursday in Arizona.

Dallas are 0-5 when Doncic is inactive on their lineup this season. But this time around, they etched a significant statement win without their franchise cornerstone.

“We found a way to win a game… those guys in the locker room should be proud,” head coach Jason Kidd said in postgame.

Doncic’s backcourt mate, Spencer Dinwiddie, rose to the occasion as he poured a season-high 36 points on a sizzling 10-for-18 shooting, with five being three-pointers. He also dished out a crucial nine assists and hitted clutch shots down the stretch including an amazing three off glass with around three minutes left in the regulation.

Dorian Finney-Smith also delivered a huge step up on his game, finishing with a double-double of 18 markers and 12 boards. Dwigh Powell’s 15 points and four boards were also impactful, as he calmly drained his two free throws to seal the victory for the Mavs.

The Mavericks held the deficit for the entire second half but Chris Paul cut it with his clutch layup for the Suns, 96-95. After coach Jason Kidd called a timeout, they were able to inbound the ball with Reggie Bullock being sent to the free throw line. 

Bullock missed his second one but they were able to keep possession alive with Powell collecting the clutch offensive board and got fouled by Deandre Ayton. The veteran big sank his shots at the stripe that kept them away from the Suns en route to the win.

With shooting free throws being their problematic weakness all season long, the narratives have suddenly changed, as the Mavs marvelously dusted off any pressure and woes amid Doncic’s unavailability.

Ayton dropped 19 points and 20 boards on the losing effort, with Chris Paul having his 22 markers and 10 dimes.

With the win, the Mavericks still glued themselves on the sixth-seed of the Western Conference. They are slated to face the Utah Jazz to continue their road trip on Saturday.

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