O.J. Mayo drained the game-winning bucket with 34.6 seconds to play and the Dallas Mavericks escaped with an 97-94 win over the Phoenix Suns on Thursday at American Airlines Center.
Mayo finished with a game-high 23 points and five rebounds, Darren Collison netted 16 points, including 10-of-12 from the free throw line, and Brandan Wright added 16 points for the Mavericks, who bounced back from a loss to the LA Clippers on Wednesday.
"Everybody played with a lot of heart, a lot of guts," Dallas head coach Rick Carlisle said. "It was really a war of attrition out there with the injuries and all the stuff going on. Everybody hung in and we found a way and it's a huge win for us."
Chris Kaman finished with 15 points and seven rebounds, while Shawn Marion contributed 10 points and five boards in the triumph.
Markieff Morris put home 15 points and ripped down a career-high 17 rebounds, while Goran Dragic added 15, four steals and four assists for the Suns, who have lost five straight games.
"Our goal is to keep playing and turn our season around," Suns head coach Alvin Gentry said.
Luis Scola ended his night with 13 points, while Shannon Brown and Jared Dudley had 11 apiece in the setback.
With the game tied, 87-87, Mayo accepted a pass at the top of the key and turned to face the basket with Suns guard Sebastian Telfair defending him.
The USC product quickly drove to his left, stepped back, rose up and swished home a 21-foot jumper with a hand in his face to give Dallas an 89-87 lead with 34.6 to go.
On the ensuing Suns possession, Dragic blew past his defender to the basket, but his left-handed layup rolled off the rim and the rebound was grabbed by Vince Carter.
Carter made a pair of free throws with 12.8 on the clock to put the visitors up 95-91, but Brown gave the Suns some hope when he buried a trey from the top of the arc with 3.2 left, cutting the deficit to one.
Collison was fouled on the inbounds pass following the trey and made two free throws to secure the positive result for Dallas.
Phoenix came out of the gate on fire, hitting five of its first seven shots to build a 13-3 lead with just under nine minutes to play in the opening quarter.
Dallas battled back with a 9-2 burst to cut the deficit to three with 4:13 on the first-quarter clock. A Morris layup pushed the Suns lead to 19-14, but the Mavs closed the quarter on a 9-4 flurry to knot things at 23-23 heading to the second quarter.
A tip-in by Jermaine O'Neal with 6:41 left in the first half gave the Suns a 34-28 advantage, but Dallas quickly erased the deficit as a Marion layup tied the contest at 40-40 with 1:11 left.
Phoenix, though, scored the final four points of the half to hold a 44-40 lead at the break.
Michael Beasley sank a 14-footer two minutes into the third quarter to make it a 46-42 Suns lead, but the Mavs responded with a 21-2 surge to go ahead 63-48 with 3:49 to play in the frame.
PJ Tucker drained a deep deuce with just over a minute left to cut the deficit to seven, but Dallas led 69-61 heading to the fourth quarter.
Dallas has won nine of the last 10 matchups with the Suns ...Dallas shot 47.4 percent from the floor, while Phoenix shot 40 percent from the field ... The game featured five lead changes and seven ties ... Phoenix turned the ball over 13 times which led to 16 Dallas points.