"Teams are switching every time, making Steve into an offensive player and keeping the rest of the guys out of sync," Stoudemire said. "That's why we're not playing fast tempo. But we'll figure it out."Although the Suns led most of the first half and the Mavericks never trailed again after Howard's big spurt, the tight finish was reminiscent of the many great games and playoff series between these teams in the year since Nash went from Dallas to the desert.
Terry kept the drama going by missing a free throw with 3.7 seconds left. He intentionally missed the next one. Stoudemire got the rebound, took a few dribbles then heaved it about 75 feet. It was pretty much on line but short.
"When Steve kept making those 3s at the end ... that felt like a little deja vu," Nowitzki said. "But we hung in there."
Carlisle said Howard may miss one of the back-to-back games on Friday and Saturday nights. ... Phoenix's Lou Amundson returned after missing two games with the flu. Leandro Barbosa missed his fourth game because of a sprained left ankle. ... A couple celebrating their 75th wedding anniversary - each wearing No. 75 Mavs jerseys - were featured on the "kiss cam" during a timeout. They smooched twice to loud cheers.