Marion's 29 points lead Mavericks over Suns 93-87
DALLAS – Shawn Marion scored a season-high 29 points and the short-handed Dallas Mavericks stretched their home winning streak to seven games with a 93-87 victory over the Phoenix Suns on Monday night.
Marion, who entered with five 3-pointers all season, went 4 of 6 from behind the arc and 11 for 20 from the field.
Top scorer Dirk Nowitzki and key reserve Vince Carter remain out for the defending NBA champion Mavericks (11-7), who returned home from a 2-2 road trip.
Grant Hill scored a season-high 19 points for Phoenix and Marcin Gortat had 19 points and 17 rebounds, his eighth consecutive double-double. Shannon Brown added 14 points for the Suns, who have lost six of eight.
Phoenix has dropped its last nine games at Dallas.
Ian Mahinmi had 17 points and nine rebounds for the Mavericks.
Nowitzki missed his second game in what has been projected as a four-game stretch to work on his conditioning and allow his sore right knee to improve.
Carter sat out his fourth consecutive game with a sprained left foot.
Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said Nowitzki went through two conditioning sessions on Monday. The MVP of last year's NBA finals will be monitored as the week goes on to determine his progress.
Carlisle said the German star could miss more than four games depending on how much improvement he shows.
"There's some conditioning and some things with the knee that need to be resolved," Carlisle said.
Dallas continues to play tough defense, holding an opponent under 100 points in its 15th straight game to extend its franchise record.
Marion's nine points sparked a 10-2 third-quarter run. Marion, who had 14 points in the third quarter, converted a three-point play, then hit consecutive 3-pointers to give Dallas a 70-55 advantage with 4:41 left in the quarter.
Phoenix ended the third quarter with six unanswered points, narrowing the deficit to 74-65.
Sebastien Telfair of the Suns was tagged with a flagrant foul with 7:07 left in the third quarter, earning an automatic ejection when he hit Dallas' Roddy Beaubois in the face and hauled him to the floor on Beaubois' layup attempt.
Beaubois made both foul shots, and when Dallas got the ball back, Lamar Odom's basket extended the Mavericks' edge to 88-74.
The Suns made one last push when Steve Nash hit a 16-footer with 2:16 left to narrow the gap to 91-84.
But Marion's basket with 35 seconds remaining extended Dallas' lead to 93-84, closing out the Suns.
Dallas was up at halftime, 49-46, with Brendan Haywood having already set a season high with 10 points. Marion led the way for Dallas with 12, the same total as Hill.
NOTES: Marion's previous season high was 22 points at Utah last Thursday. ... Dallas set a season high with a 32-point first quarter. ... Former Dallas Cowboys running back Emmitt Smith sat courtside with his wife, Pat.