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Dennis Smith Jr. returns to starting linep vs. Suns

dennis smith jr, dirk nowitzki

After missing three games with a right wrist injury, Dallas Mavericks guard Dennis Smith Jr. is active against the Phoenix Suns. Smith may be a bit overshadowed by the season debut of Dirk Nowitzki who had surgery on his left ankle last spring.

The 21-year-old, second-year player was selected 9th in the first round of the 2017 draft. Smith Jr. is averaging 13.5 points, 2.8 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game while shooting 44 percent from the field. He continues to start over veteran J.J. Barea for the Mavs.

The Dallas Mavericks are 15-11 on the season and are on a 11-game winning streak. Following a slow 4-11 start, they’ve really caught heat riding their rookie sensation Luka Doncic. Doncic on the season is averaging 18 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 4.4 assists shooting 42.5 percent from the field.

The last time the Mavericks won 10 games in a row was in 2007-08. That season, the Mavericks under head coach Avery Johnson went 51-31 on the season. A combination of Josh Howard, Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Terry led this team to a fourth seed in the Western Conference. The Mavs eventually lost in the first round to the Chris Paul and Peja Stojakovic led New Orleans Pelicans.

Thursday evening the Mavericks are facing the Phoenix Suns in an away contest. The Suns are 4-24 on the season and are last in the NBA’s Western Conference.

Devin Booker has been one bright side for the Suns, averaging 23.5 points, 3.6 rebounds and 6.7 assists per game while shooting 43.9 percent from the field. Rookie and top draft pick DeAndre Ayton has proven lethal offensively in the pick and roll with Booker, averaging 15.8 points, 10.2 rebounds, and 2.5 assists a game while shooting 59.8 percent from the field.