Sacramento Kings centre Willie Cauley-Stein (00) drives to the basket against Phoenix Suns centre Deandre Ayton in the first half in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
#DALLAS (AP) — Rookie Deandre Ayton scored six points and grabbed five rebounds for the last-place Phoenix Suns in a 104-94 loss to the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday night. He also had a block, steal and an assist in 20 minutes on the hardwood.
#T.J. Warren scored 20 points for the Suns, who led by eight in the first half.
#However, Luka Doncic connected on a 3-pointer to put Dallas ahead for good in the third quarter, then did a couple of other things that make the Mavericks believe they have something special in their 19-year-old rookie.
#First Doncic disrupted an attempted alley-oop for a steal before an assist on a jump-pass out of a double team from close to half court to DeAndre Jordan near the basket for a dunk to help the Mavericks take control.
#The Slovenian guard scored 30 points to go with six rebounds, five assists and three steals and Dallas ended a seven-game losing streak against Phoenix.
#“Luka does crazy stuff all the time,” said Jordan, who had 11 points and seven rebounds. “So I’m not surprised by anything he does.”
#Maybe even a little too crazy at times, like the high-arching 3-point try from 32 feet — one of a pair of a-bit-too-long attempts from deep that missed. He was an otherwise solid 8-of-14 shooting in his fourth game with at least 30 points.
#The Slovenian guard still went 4 of 9 beyond the arc with a four-point play in the first half while finishing four points shy of his career high.
#Doncic made just 10 of his career-high 16 free-throw attempts as the Mavericks went to the line 45 times, a season high, making 32.
#Scoring leader Devin Booker missed the Kings game and was out again in Dallas with back spasms.
#Phoenix is a combined 1-13 in back-to-back pairs — 1-6 on the front end and 0-7 on the back. It was the Suns’ first loss to Dallas since a 113-108 defeat in Mexico City almost two years ago.
#Two of their 10 wins this season came against Dallas at home, including the season opener.
#Ayton, drafted two spots ahead of Doncic as the No. 1 overall pick, spent the second half in foul trouble and finished with six points and five rebounds along with five fouls.
#“For the first time, I think I ever, went scoreless in the first half and stuff like that just started to get to me a little bit,” said Ayton, who was 1 of 7 from the field.
#“It was just me being the bad egg today. I’m going to apologise to them about this, but yeah, it was a bad game for me.”
#Harrison Barnes scored 17 points for Dallas, making all 10 of his free throws to offset 3-of-11 shooting.
#Wesley Matthews had 12 of his 14 points in the second half, including a banked-in 3 for a 96-84 lead with three minutes to go.