DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — The Dallas Mavericks honored Kobe Bryant in a ceremony before their first home game since the Lakers star, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others were killed in a helicopter crash outside Los Angeles.
Highlights of Bryant’s career and some of his interactions with the Mavericks, including retired star Dirk Nowitzki, were shown on the video boards during a moment of silence.
Nowitzki was courtside with owner Mark Cuban.
Dallas’ plan to retire the No. 24 in Bryant’s honor was announced to cheers, and the teams repeated the tribute Dallas and Oklahoma City displayed a night earlier. The Mavericks took an 8-second backcourt violation to honor Bryant’s other number, followed by a 24-second shot clock violation by the Suns.
A moment of silence held at tonight’s Suns vs Mavs game to honor Kobe and Gianna Bryant and all the victims of Sunday’s crash. pic.twitter.com/zvFYoNugAr
— CBSDFW (@CBSDFW) January 29, 2020
Devin Booker scored 20 of his 32 points in a decisive third quarter, Deandre Ayton had a season-high 31 points and the Phoenix Suns never trailed in a 133-104 dismantling of the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday night.
Booker started the scoring in the third quarter before the ball had even been thrown in, making a free throw after the last of three first-half technicals against Dallas was called against Tim Hardaway Jr. after the halftime buzzer.
With the head start from Booker, the Suns outscored the Mavericks 48-22 in the third on their way to surpassing last season’s win total of 19 with their fourth victory in the past five road games.
It was the highest-scoring quarter for Phoenix this season and the most Dallas has allowed in a quarter.
Ayton, the 2018 No. 1 overall pick who has been overshadowed during his two seasons by Dallas sensation and third overall choice Luka Doncic, was 13 of 15 from the field as the Suns shot a season-high 59%. Ayton made all five of his free throws and had a game-high nine rebounds.
Doncic, an All-Star starter, scored 21 points with six rebounds and just two assists before leaving the game for good with the Mavericks trailing by 36 points (120-84) with 8:05 remaining.
Doncic and coach Rick Carlisle drew techs in the first quarter before Hardaway was called for one on his way off the floor not long after he was called for an offensive foul that Carlisle unsuccessfully challenged.
Booker’s free throw started an 8-0 run to open the second half and give Phoenix a double-digit lead for good after Dallas had trimmed a 13-point deficit in the first half to five (60-55) at the break.
Willie Cauley-Stein made his Dallas debut after coming over in a trade with Golden State, getting four points and three rebounds in 12 minutes, most of them coming with the outcome decided in the fourth quarter.
Suns: Booker became the fourth-youngest player (23 years, 90 days) to score 7,000 points, after LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Carmelo Anthony. … Kelly Oubre Jr. scored 19 points and six rebounds. … Phoenix’s previous high for a quarter was 43 in the first quarter of a 121-110 win at Golden State on Oct. 30.
Mavericks: Kristaps Porzingis played the second night of a back-to-back for the first time since returning from a 10-game absence with a sore right knee. The 7-foot-3 forward had nine points and three rebounds in 20 minutes. … G Ryan Broekhoff played for the first time since breaking his left fibula at the Lakers on Dec. 29.
Suns: Oklahoma City on Friday in a home game that splits a pair of three-game road trips. The Suns have lost seven straight to the Thunder.
Mavericks: At Houston on Friday. Dallas won the opener of the season series at the Rockets in November.