Defense, defense, defense. Thta's what Mavericks head coach Avery Johnson stressed for his team tonight in game 2 of their Western Conference Finals series against Phoenix. It worked, because Dallas was able to even the series at one game apiece with the 105-98 win.
Game two was a story of streaks. The Suns went on a 13-4 run to open up an 8-point first quarter lead.
The Mavericks answered in the second, outscoring the Suns 18-2 to take an 8-point lea of their own.
It was shortlived, though. Phoenix finished the first half with a 12-2 to lead by five.
The second half wasn't as much of a run as it was the Mavericks slowing the pace, chipping away at the Suns lead. Jerry Stackhouse hit a clutch three-pointer in the opening minutes of the 4th quarter to give the Mavericks a 78-77 lead. Jason Terry hit a couple of free throws with 8:45 left to give the Mavericks the lead for good.
Dirk Nowitzki finished with a game-high 30 points. He also had 14 rebounds and 6 assists. Josh Howard had 29 points, including 3 of 5 from beyond the 3-point arc.
Boris Diaw led the Suns with 25 points.
Game 3 is Sunday night in Phoenix.