#Luka #Doncic #Mavs #crush #Suns #Game
Six games and still no away wins! The Mavs won their third and final home game of the series to tie the conference semifinal 3–3 against the Suns. A match they dominated from start to finish, relying on solid defense and much better long-range direction.
As is often the case in this series, the start of the match came down to a duel between “Mr. First Quarter-Timer”, Devin Booker and Luka Doncic. The two men did more damage approaching the circle with a happier efficiency for one than for the other: 8 points for the Suns’ back with four shots against 10 for the Slovenian but on… 11 shots. Despite the clumsiness of his playmaker, determined like Jalen Brunson to attack Chris Paul to the maximum, the Mavs converted a short header after twelve minutes (28-25).
Confirmed progress in the following period thanks to the success of several Texan shooters, Maxi Kleber and especially Spencer Dinwiddie and Reggie Bullock, much more confident than in the previous game.
This direction began to make a difference in the second part of this quarter that ended badly due to clumsiness of the Suns in shooting and ball in hand. Luka Doncic sent a “stepback” behind the goal against his favorite “matchup”, Deandre Ayton, and Dallas offered an advantage of more than ten points (49-39).
But Monty Williams’ men finished so badly in the first half that they returned to the locker room 15 points behind (60-45). The serenity displayed on the Suns coach’s face contrasted with the team’s interpretation of him on the ground. The latter continued to frustrate a well-established Texan defense and the gap, instead of narrowing, continued to be widened by the locals.
The defense fell asleep twice, leaving the way open for Luka Doncic to make an uncontested dunk. Deandre Ayton’s offensive effort and Devin Booker’s fight will be in vain: Phoenix, whose attack seems completely paralyzed, was more than 20 points behind at the beginning of the quarter (94-72). A last period without much interest where a “garbage time” will end up closing the debates. Boban Marjanovic’s chance to score his first points in these playoffs.
WHAT TO REMEMBER
– The clumsiness of the ball in hand of the Suns… We need look no further for the main statistical difference between the two teams. The Suns turned over 22 balls, including 7 in the third quarter, where their opponents only made six possessions. Arizona players owe this lousy ratio as much to careless errors, with sometimes risky transmissions, as to defensive pressure from the other side. Take, for example, an action where Frank Ntilikina, best interceptor of the match (4), put his body in opposition to a dribble by Chris Paul that ended up losing control of the ball and sending it into touch. The Texans have benefited greatly from these “turnovers” by posting 29 points behind.
– … and on throw-ins. Part of the game was played in the last moments of the first half. On a baseline throw-in, Luka Doncic found Reggie Bullock only cutting into the circle for two free runs. The explanation? A miscommunication on a screen in the back between Devin Booker and Mikal Bridges. Following possession, a new throw-in from the Slovenian’s baseline. And a new defensive error by the Suns with three defenders occupied by two screen carriers, leaving Maxi Kleber alone in the triple. Reggie Bullock later cut off a pass from Chris Paul before taking a penalty behind the arc. This sudden 8-0 hurt the visitors a lot.
✅ Luka Doncić. More clumsiness on 3-pointers, as well as clumsiness on free throws, but new great production and investment in defense, especially against Devin Booker, for the Slovenian who achieved the first victory of his career in an NBA playoff game. It was already his 13th game in the playoffs with 30 points or more.
✅ Reggie Bullock and Spencer Dinwiddie. The two men had posted a previous no match at 0/8 on aggregate. They reacted heavily tonight with an excellent 10/18 from distance between them. Special mention to the first City that gave a lot in defense against Devin Booker, hence his moment, the most important of the game. The second, who had not added 15 points since the first round, recalled that he was not lacking in nerves. This long-range ability seems to be the key to the Mavs’ success in these playoffs.
⛔ Chris Paul. New game that doesn’t look much like the Suns point guard. He bolstered his stat sheet with two winning baskets in a fourth quarter that seemed already played out. Prior to that, he was surprisingly passive on offense and, like Devin Booker, turned over balls that were unlike him. Given that he turned 37, he is far from the level shown upstream in these playoffs.
game 7 : in Phoenix, Sunday, May 15.