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Suns, Mavs Duel in First Half with Durant, Irving

© Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
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The Phoenix SunsDallas Mavericks rivalry has another layer added onto their intense matchups. Since completing the blockbuster deals, both squads have added former teammates in Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving to their respective teams.

That revamped rivalry was put on display on Sunday as the Suns traveled to take on the Mavericks. Phoenix is on the final stop of their four-game road trip.

Durant seemed unstoppable during the first half, yet the Suns didn’t have any answers for the Mavs role players. As such, Dallas went into halftime with a 62-59 lead.

Durant Vs. Irving – Friends Turned Rivals

The experiment that Durant and Irving took on with the Brooklyn Nets ended in the wildest of ways. Now, the two will be added to the ongoing rivalry that’s stemmed back from last year’s playoffs.

Durant was able to help keep Phoenix ahead for most of the first half, going 6-of-8 from the floor for 16 points. He also chipped in four rebounds.

Irving didn’t have his running mate in Luka Dončić for a portion of the second quarter, and as it turned out, it may be better that way. Tim Hardaway, Jr. stepped into the scoring role, helping Irving push the Mavs ahead halfway through the second quarter with a game-high 18 points.

Irving finished the half with nine points and four assists. Dallas was getting a healthy contribution from everyone, with Hardaway, Jr. helping lead the charge.

Suns Continue Impressive Shooting

The Suns were able to put themselves ahead on Friday against the Chicago Bulls with their stellar shooting. Though not as flashy from three-point range, that trend continued on Sunday.

With (5:12) remaining on the clock for the half, the Suns were up to 60 percent from the floor overall for the contest. While they weren’t lapping the Mavs, it did indeed help in keeping the contest close.

The Suns found themselves in a similar situation on Friday with the Bulls as well. After leading in the first quarter, the Suns quickly found themselves behind the Bulls during a second quarter distraught.

Phoenix will have to find production from their bench in the second half, while also figuring out ways to stop the Dallas reserves as well.

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