After clinching a playoff spot for the first time since 2016, the Dallas Mavericks fell to the Phoenix Suns, 117-115.
The Mavericks clinched a playoff berth earlier in the day, thanks to the Memphis Grizzlies' loss to San Antonio. They will finish no lower than seventh in the Western Conference, according to ESPN.
However, they failed to build on that, squandering a 15-point lead and wasting a 40-point, 11-assist effort from Luka Doncic.
Doncic kept the Mavs in the hunt in the final minutes, with his layup making it a one-possession game, 115-113, with still 1:18 left to play.
But Ricky Rubio drew a foul from Dorian Finney-Smith, and his two charities gave the Suns some space, 117-113, with 61 seconds left.
Dallas last threatened off Doncic's bucket for a 117-115 count with 40 seconds to go, and Kristaps Porzingis came up with a clutch rejection of Rubio to give the Mavericks a chance to tie or take the lead.
But Porzingis' go-ahead triple with under five seconds left was off-target, and after the Mavericks got the offensive rebound, Tim Hardaway Jr. also missed a three-point attempt of his own.
Devin Booker led the Suns with 30 points, while Rubio finished with 20 points, nine assists, and seven rebounds.
Porzingis had 30 points, eight rebounds, and four blocks for the Mavs.
The Suns have now won both of their seeding games so far in the NBA restart, keeping them in the hunt for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
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