It hasn’t been some kind of overall team dominance for the Dallas Mavericks over the Phoenix Suns. If fact, just over a year ago, the Suns had won the last 10 regular season meetings between the two sides, a streak that began before the covid lockdown. But Mavs guard Luka Dončić must have the games against Phoenix circled on his calendar every year, because he has had some of his best performances against them in recent years, including an impressive showing on NBA Christmas Day.
Doncic Joins NBA Royalty In Win Over Phoenix
Luka Dončić joins LeBron, KD, Kobe, Melo and T-Mac as the 6th player to reach 10K career regular-season points before turning 25.
Elite company right there. 🔥 pic.twitter.com/q5ISHBIQG2
— Legion Hoops (@LegionHoops) December 26, 2023
The two sides were heading in seemingly opposite directions entering the day. The Mavericks had weathered some tough waters and have gotten back on track after the Kyrie Irving injury threw them off a bit, but they were able to pick up a win just before the holiday to keep them in the 5-7 range in the Western Conference.
The Suns, on the other hand, were simply looking to stay alive in the early playoff picture. After jumping out to an 11-6 start to the season, Phoenix was just 3-8 in their last 11 heading into the Christmas Day showdown, and were in desperate need of a winning streak to salvage the first half of their NBA season.
50 Points Is 3rd-Best Ever On Christmas
Luka loves crushing the Suns.
He’s scored 35+ pts seven times vs. Phoenix — all 7 have come on the road in Phoenix. https://t.co/lcy9iCi1lk
— Evan Abrams (@EvanHAbrams) December 26, 2023
During their matchup on Monday, the Mavericks were in control through the first two quarters. But the Suns came storming back in the third to take the lead late in the period, but Doncic proved to be too much to handle in the fourth quarter. On his way to a season-high 50 points, Doncic became one of just six players in NBA history to reach the 10,000 points mark before turning 25 years old.
According to Evan Abrams of the Action Network, Doncic has now scored 35+ points against the Suns seven different times, with each of those being road performances in Phoenix. One of the most memorable matchups between the two sides came during the 2022 NBA Playoffs, when the Western Conference Semifinals went seven games. That deciding contest was memorable for the Mavericks and forgettable for the Suns, as Dallas built a 57-27 halftime lead and never looked back.
The Suns dropped to 14-15 and under .500 with the Christmas Day loss, and are now on the outside looking in at the early playoff picture in the West.