Mavs, Bucks battle in Big D

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(SportsNetwork.com) - The Dallas Mavericks had a five-game winning streak snapped last time out, but they'll try to get back into the winner's circle Sunday evening when the Milwaukee Bucks pay a visit to American Airlines Center.

The Mavs fell at home to the Phoenix Suns Friday night, 118-106.

Dallas was done in by a terrible first quarter which saw the team allow 40 points. The Suns shot 69.6 percent from the field in the first quarter en route to a 13-point lead.

"When you start out giving up a 40-point first quarter, you're just not ready to play defensively. I take responsibility for the effort," said head coach Rick Carlisle. "I have got to get these guys more ready to play than I did."

Monta Ellis ended with 33 points for the Mavericks, who have lost two of three at home. Tyson Chandler and Chandler Parsons each had 15 points, with Chandler also pulling down 18 boards.

Dirk Nowitzki returned from a one-game absence with a back issue and only managed 10 points on 2-for-10 shooting. Devin Harris also scored 10 in the defeat.

Dallas leads the NBA in scoring at 110.0 ppg, but is 23rd in opponents' scoring. The Mavericks have allowed 100-plus points in seven straight and 10 of their last 12.

The Bucks will try to avenge a home loss to the Mavericks on Wednesday, the game Nowitzki sat out. Dallas prevailed by two when Ellis hit the game-winner as time expired.

That was Milwaukee's third consecutive setback, but it bounced back on Friday with a 109-85 home drubbing of the Miami Heat.

Kendall Marshall scored 20 points to lead the Bucks past the four-time defending Eastern Conference champions.

Jabari Parker, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton each scored 14 points for the Bucks, who have won two of their last three on the road.

Jerryd Bayless scored 11 of his 12 points in the third quarter for the Bucks, who turned a tight game into a nine-point lead going into the fourth with a 13-2 run that came mostly at the foul line.

The Bucks then outscored Miami 29-14 in the fourth, leading by double-digits all the way after Middleton's jumper to open the quarter.

They shot better than 64 percent in the quarter and over 56 for the game.

"Our guys shared the ball and knocked down shots," said Bucks coach Jason Kidd.

The Mavs have now won four straight against the Bucks and nine of the last 12 encounters. The two squads have split the last four meetings in Dallas, but the Mavs hold a 9-2 advantage since 2003.