Marcin Gortat ensured there wasn’t a letdown between the Knicks’ finish and the Suns-Mavericks start. He caught an alley-oop over the back of a defender off Michael Beasley‘s dime from 26 feet on the first possession. We were still discussing that Knicks win when BOOM, the first two points were off a thunderous oop. On “Satisfaction Guaranteed” night in Phoenix, where fans got their cash back if they weren’t entertained, it was a great start. It was a good finish, too – for Dallas. Fast forward to the fourth quarter and Brandan Wright (16 points on 8-of-12 shooting) capped a nice game with a trio of big plays to get Dallas the W, 97-94. He stripped Luis Scola at the free throw line, getting the Mavs two points on an ensuing clear path foul. Then he got a putback bucket to keep the Mavs ahead a couple possessions in the quarter’s final two minutes. Markieff Morris‘s 15th point (to go with 17 boards) was a triple to pull the Suns within two points inside a minute and, with Suns executive Robert Sarver unable to watch with his head between his knees, the Suns tied it up with free throws with 48 seconds left. After O.J. Mayo broke the tie with a turnaround J (the last two of his game-high 23) it was a game of free throws – until Wright slapped away Sebastian Telfair’s three attempt with six seconds left. Shannon Brown‘s midcourt heave missed by three feet and Dallas got out with a pretty ugly win in the desert. … Pau Gasol isn’t out of Los Angeles yet but trade winds are circling. A couple offers have been thrown Mitch Kupchak‘s way according to reports, which include a Derrick Williams and Nikola Pekovic combo from Minnesota. From Toronto, possibly Andrea Bargnani, Jose Calderon and Linas Kleiza have been talked about. Along with Hornets forward Ryan Anderson, who is Bargnani but younger, the options are fine but don’t seem to make the Lakers any more agile to run Mike D’Antoni‘s uptempo offense any better. The Lakers have to decide if Pau is damaged goods, mentally, while being superior athletically than any one player they could receive back. Also, maybe this is a sign that L.A. is confident it can re-sign Dwight Howard and wouldn’t need a big man like Gasol. … We’re out like Miami’s perimeter D.
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