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01/27/2013 11:33 PM EST
Marion, Nowitzki lead Mavericks past Suns, 110-95
DALLAS 110, PHOENIX 95

By SCHUYLER DIXON
AP Sports Writer

DALLAS (AP) -- Shawn Marion's 1,000th game was like so many
others in his 14-year career.



He scored. He rebounded. He combined with Dirk Nowitzki to lead
Dallas to another victory.



Marion had 18 points and nine rebounds, Nowitzki also had 18
while passing Allen Iverson on the career scoring list and the
Mavericks beat the Phoenix Suns 110-95 on Sunday night.



It was the 10th straight home win for the Mavericks against the
Suns, who haven't won in Dallas since March 14, 2007.



While Marion joined Nowitzki in the 1,000-game club, he won't
ever get where the big German is on the scoring list. He's
always been known for other things anyway, such as defense. He
frequently guards the opponent's best player, and he also had
five assists against the Suns.



"I pride myself in getting better every year I've played in the
league and helping my teammates get better as well," said
Marion, who played 660 games in Phoenix and had brief stops in
Miami and Toronto before joining Nowitzki in Dallas in 2009.
"That's why I'm able to have such a long career."



Nowitzki passed Iverson for 18th on the NBA's scoring list on a
third-quarter jumper that stopped a Phoenix run, and his
3-pointer early in the fourth started a surge that put Dallas in
control for good.



Phoenix, playing its fourth game in five days under interim
coach Lindsey Hunter, rallied from a first-half deficit and made
it interesting before fading in the fourth quarter for a second
straight night in Texas after losing at Western
Conference-leading San Antonio. Goran Dragic led four players in
double figures with 18 points.



"We're pretty tired today," said Marcin Gortat, who had eight
points and a team-high eight rebounds. "Hopefully for the next
game, we'll be more ready to play. It was a terrible first
half."



Nowitzki's third-quarter jumper was the first basket in a 6-0
spurt that pushed Dallas' lead back to double digits after
Phoenix had trailed by as many as 20 in the first half. Nowitzki
has 24,375 career points, seven ahead of Iverson. Patrick Ewing
is 17th at 24,815.



Nowitzki stopped another Phoenix run in the fourth with a
3-pointer after the Suns had pulled within five, sparking a 10-0
run that put Dallas ahead 91-76. Brandan Wright, who entered
just seconds earlier after sitting four straight games,
converted a three-point play and Vince Carter hit two free
throws before getting a steal that turned into a layup by
Dahntay Jones.



"I'm starting to feel better," said Nowitzki, who missed the
first 27 games after knee surgery. "I have a little more pop on
my jump shot. I have a little more lift."



Wright was the fourth center used by coach Rick Carlisle, who
decided to give rookie Bernard James his first career start.
Wright's three-point play put Dallas' lead back in double digits
for good with 10:30 remaining.



The lead was 17 with about 5 minutes left when Marion stripped a
driving Dragic, and Darren Collison flipped the ball to Jones
for an easy dunk and a 102-83 lead for the Mavericks, who are
still on the outside of the playoff picture heading into a
four-game road trip that ends in Oklahoma City.



"Honestly, this was as close to a must win as we have in the
regular season," Nowitzki said.



Elton Brand played his 900th career game and finished with 12
points for Dallas.



The Mavericks, who had their eighth straight game with at least
five double-figure scorers, had four different players score
during an 11-0 run bridging the first and second quarters.
Nowitzki hit a jumper, Carter and Rodrigue Beaubois had
consecutive 3-pointers and Jones converted a three-point play
for a 38-21 lead.



Dallas pushed the lead out to 46-26 on a layup from Chris Kaman
and back-to-back buckets by Marion, who had six straight points
in the second and finished the half with a game-high 12.



Collison, whose streak of 16 straight double-figure games ended,
was scoreless on just one shot attempt in the first half but led
Dallas with four assists before halftime.



The Suns settled for a lot of long jumpers and shot 38 percent
in the first half, going 1 for 9 from 3-point range.



Luis Scola finished with 14 points for Phoenix, while Michael
Beasley and P.J. Tucker had 12 apiece.



"When you put yourself in a hole like that and you finally dig
yourself out, to sustain it takes a lot out of you," said
Hunter, who fell to 2-2 since replacing Alvin Gentry. "We just
couldn't sustain it."



NOTES: Most of the game was played with a two-man officiating
crew after Leroy Richardson strained his right calf early in the
first quarter and didn't return. ... The Mavericks decided to
keep veteran G Mike James at the end of his second 10-day
contract, which guarantees his contract for the rest of the
season. He played just 1:28 of the fourth with the outcome
settled. ... Eight of the Suns' first nine games under Hunter
will be part of a back-to-back set. ... James' start made it the
17th different starting lineup for Dallas this season.

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