Published January 30, 2012
| Associated Press
PHOENIX – Vince Carter scored 21 points against a Phoenix team that's still paying him, helping the Dallas Mavericks to a 122-99 rout of the Steve Nash-less Suns on Monday night.
Nash, the NBA assists leader, was out with a bruised left thigh after taking a knee from Marc Gasol in the final seconds of Phoenix's victory over Memphis on Saturday night.
Carter was waived by Phoenix when the lockout ended, but his contract still guaranteed him $4 million. He would have made $18 million had he stayed with Phoenix.
Dallas was without starting point guard Jason Kidd for the second game in a row because of a strained right calf. But the Mavs' offense rolled right along without him, amassing a season-high in points for a half (66) as well as for a game.
Delonte West scored a season-high 25 on 9 of 12 shooting, including 5 of 6 3-pointers, in the Mavericks' eighth straight win over Phoenix.
The 122 was a season-best for Dallas, surpassing its 116 against Utah two games ago. It also was the highest score for a Phoenix opponent this season, topping the Bulls' 118-97 victory at Chicago on Jan. 17.
Longtime Sun Shawn Marion scored 20 for the Mavericks, winners of three straight and six of seven.
Dirk Nowitzki had 10 points in his second game back after missing four games to rest his sore right knee.
Marcin Gortat had 17 points and 10 rebounds for Phoenix. Jared Dudley added 15 points, Sebastian Telfair 13 and Grant Hill 12.
Dallas shot 55 percent, including 14 of 27 3s.
Carter had his second big game in as many nights. He scored 21 in the Mavericks' 101-100 overtime win over San Antonio on Sunday.
Phoenix had cut Dallas' lead to 55-47 on Gortat's 9-footer with 1:56 left in the half, then the Mavericks finished the half with an 11-1 run, taking a 66-48 lead on West's layup at the buzzer. Officials reviewed the play and called it good. West had a pair of 3-pointers to start the run.
The Suns got no closer than 16 early in the second half, with Dallas leading by as many as 28.
Notes: Nash needs seven assists to pass Kevin Johnson as the Suns' career assists leader. ... Dallas had never beaten Phoenix eight times in a row until Monday night. ... Phoenix last beat Dallas on Jan. 28, 2010. ... The Mavericks have scored 116, 101 and 122 in their last three games after reaching the century mark four times in their first 19 games.