Suns return home to host Mavs

The Dallas Mavericks haven't adjusted to playing on the road and will get another chance Thursday night against the Phoenix Suns.

The Mavericks are 2-7 away from Big D this season and have lost three in a row as the visitor. In the midst of playing six of seven road games, Dallas opened a three-game trek with Wednesday's 112-90 loss against the Los Angeles Clippers.

Vince Carter led the way with 16 points off the bench, Derek Fisher scored 15 and both Shawn Marion and Chris Kaman had 14 points for the Mavericks, who trailed 29-18 after the first quarter and 60-42 at halftime. O.J. Mayo ended with 11 points in defeat and missed all four of his 3-point attempts.

"They were more physical than us. We fragmented at the wrong times," Dallas head coach Rick Carlisle said.

Besides Carter, Dallas didn't get much help from its bench but has still outscored opposing reserves in 14 of the first 18 games. The Mavs will also visit rival Houston on Saturday and have lost four of their last five games.

The Mavericks are still toiling without star Dirk Nowitzki, who is slowly getting back to form after undergoing arthroscopic right knee surgery. Nowitzki is traveling with the team and a timetable for his return is unknown.

Phoenix just completed a season-long, six-game road trip with a disappointing 1-5 mark (.167) and closed the sojourn with four straight losses, including Tuesday's 108-98 overtime loss at Memphis.

The Suns led by as many as 16 points and were outscored 14-4 in the extra period. All of Phoenix's points in OT came from the foul line. Goran Dragic scored a team-best 19 points and Luis Scola had 16 for Phoenix, which got 13 points from Jared Dudley and 12 from Jermaine O'Neal.

The Suns were outrebounded 50-32 and outscored 22-12 in second-chance points.

"I thought we played with great energy and great effort," Suns coach Alvin Gentry said. "We put ourselves in the position to defeat a really good team on the road, record-wise the best team in the NBA. We just didn't quite get it done."

Phoenix, which is allowing an NBA-worst 102.9 points per game, will visit the Clippers before heading back to U.S. Airways Center for a five-game homestand versus Orlando, Memphis, Utah, Sacramento and Charlotte. The Suns are 5-2 at home since losing their season opener and sport a 3-1 record as the host against teams from the West. They average 101.6 ppg in the desert as opposed to 93.8 ppg on the road.

Dragic has scored in double digits in 18 of the 19 games this season and leads the team with 15.5 ppg.

In injury news for the Suns, guard Sebastian Telfair (personal) is listed as probable versus the Mavericks.

Dallas took three of four matchups from Phoenix a season ago and has won eight of nine and 14 of the past 18 meetings between the clubs. The Mavs and Suns have split the last 10 encounters in the Grand Canyon State.