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Suns Leave Mavs Seeing Stars


Nothing stops the Phoenix Suns in Reunion Arena.

Cliff Robinson scored 11 of his 18 points in the fourth period, including two 3-pointers, as the Suns beat the Dallas Mavericks 103-91 Tuesday night in a game delayed 70 minutes because of a slippery substance on the floor.

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  • It was the Suns' eighth consecutive victory over the Mavericks and 25th in the last 27 games.

    "It looked like we were playing in our socks at first, but once the guys got it (the floor) out of their head, they went ahead and played and didn't think about it much," said coach Danny Ainge. "Cliff was just huge. He does so many things for us."

    Tom Gugliotta, Jason Kidd, George McCloud, Danny Manning and Luc Longley all scored in the double figures for the Suns. McCloud had 17 points, Longley scored 16, Manning 14, Kidd 13, and Gugliotta scored 12.

    "The floor was real bad when we first went out there, but they (the maintenance crew) did a good job of getting it in decent shape," Manning said.

    Dallas was led by Michael Finley with 22 points. Samaki Walker and Steve Nash each scored 15 points. Gary Trent had 13 and Shawn Bradley contributed 12 points and 14 rebounds.

    Referee Bennett Salvatore, the crew chief of the three officials, said "the game was in danger of not being played. But the maintenance crew did a good job of getting the substance up."

    Dallas officials were baffled how the substance got on the floor, but thought it happened while it was stored during a hockey game.

    Mavs coach Don Nelson gave his players the option not to play and guard Robert Pack took him up on it, sitting out the game on the bench. Once the game began, the floor was no bother and no player ever slipped.

    "I play fast and quick and I couldn't get any traction," Pack said. "I didn't feel comfortable playing. I feel I made the right decision."

    Nelson said he was OK with Pack.

    "It's quite all right with me," Nelson said. "Pack said he didn't want to jeopardize his career, so he took the night off."

    The Suns took control of the game in the fourth period behind Robinson and Manning, who had six of his points, and won going away.

    "They were hitting 3-point shots better than we were hitting free throws," Nelson said. "They really had it going."

    Dallas, seemingly not bothered by the delay in which the teams warmed up four times, came out shooting 57 per cent in the first period to take a 27-20 lead.

    Dallas built the margin to 13 points before the Suns awakened. Former Maverick McCloud hit two 3-pointers to ignite Phoenix, which edged ahead 51-47 at halftime.

    Notes

    The Suns have a streak of 13 straight wins at Reunion Arena...Ainge has a 9-1 record against Dallas...A crowd of 12,714 was announced, with only 4,000 or so hanging around for the end...Dallas has four losses in a row.

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