Sacramento Kings centre Willie Cauley-Stein (00) drives to the basket against Phoenix Suns centre Deandre Ayton in the first half in Phoenix.
(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
DALLAS (AP) — Rookie Deandre Ayton scored six points and grabbed five rebounds for the last-place Phoenix Suns in a 104-94 loss to the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday night. He also had a block, steal and an assist in 20 minutes on the hardwood.
T.J. Warren scored 20 points for the Suns, who led by eight in the first half.
However, Luka Doncic connected on a 3-pointer to put Dallas ahead for good in the third quarter, then did a couple of other things that make the Mavericks believe they have something special in their 19-year-old rookie.
First Doncic disrupted an attempted alley-oop for a steal before an assist on a jump-pass out of a double team from close to half court to DeAndre Jordan near the basket for a dunk to help the Mavericks take control.
The Slovenian guard scored 30 points to go with six rebounds, five assists and three steals and Dallas ended a seven-game losing streak against Phoenix.
“Luka does crazy stuff all the time,” said Jordan, who had 11 points and seven rebounds. “So I’m not surprised by anything he does.”
Maybe even a little too crazy at times, like the high-arching 3-point try from 32 feet — one of a pair of a-bit-too-long attempts from deep that missed. He was an otherwise solid 8-of-14 shooting in his fourth game with at least 30 points.
The Slovenian guard still went 4 of 9 beyond the arc with a four-point play in the first half while finishing four points shy of his career high.
Doncic made just 10 of his career-high 16 free-throw attempts as the Mavericks went to the line 45 times, a season high, making 32.
Scoring leader Devin Booker missed the Kings game and was out again in Dallas with back spasms.
Phoenix is a combined 1-13 in back-to-back pairs — 1-6 on the front end and 0-7 on the back. It was the Suns’ first loss to Dallas since a 113-108 defeat in Mexico City almost two years ago.
Two of their 10 wins this season came against Dallas at home, including the season opener.
Ayton, drafted two spots ahead of Doncic as the No. 1 overall pick, spent the second half in foul trouble and finished with six points and five rebounds along with five fouls.
“For the first time, I think I ever, went scoreless in the first half and stuff like that just started to get to me a little bit,” said Ayton, who was 1 of 7 from the field.
“It was just me being the bad egg today. I’m going to apologise to them about this, but yeah, it was a bad game for me.”
Harrison Barnes scored 17 points for Dallas, making all 10 of his free throws to offset 3-of-11 shooting.
Wesley Matthews had 12 of his 14 points in the second half, including a banked-in 3 for a 96-84 lead with three minutes to go.