Los Dallas Mavericks equalized this sunday 2-2 their Western semi-final against the Phoenix Suns with a win for 111-101 cemented by his splendid 3-point shooting (14 of 24 in the first half) and the terrible day of Chris Paul.
Just two days after his 37th birthday, the Suns point guard was fouled out with 9 minutes left in the fourth quarter after an unforgettable game in which only added 5 points, 5 rebounds and 7 assists in just 23 minutes on track due to his personal problems.
At the break he already had four fouls, something that had never happened to him in his 17 seasons in the NBA.
Facing Paul’s nightmare, Dorian Finney-Smith lived his dream afternoon in the Mavericks with 24 points and a tremendous 8 of 12 in triples.
Luka Doncic got 26 points, 7 rebounds and 11 assistsBut perhaps the most hopeful sign for the future of the Dallas series is that they didn’t need a superhuman version of the Slovenian in scoring to take this fourth game.
In addition to Finney-Smith, the Mavericks, who finished the game 20-for-44 from 3-point range, had High-quality contributions from Jalen Brunson (18 points) and Davis Bertans (12 points on 4-for-6 three-point shooting).
Without Paul by her side, Devin Booker (35 points and 7 assists) He was the benchmark for the Suns who won their two games at home, who lost both games in Dallas and who will have the option on Tuesday, back in Phoenix, to retake the advantage in this semifinal.
Triple Fireworks Show
The fourth game began in a volcanic way with a technique for Doncic and another for Booker when five minutes had not yet been played.
The Suns shooting guard benefited from that wake-up call and finished the first quarter with 13 points.
However, Booker was too lonely to quell the Mavericks’ 3-point fireworks festwho went 8 of 13 in a fantastic display of shooting from the perimeter in the first quarter (37-25).
The three-pointers by Finney-Smith, Bullock and Kleber offered ideal solutions in attack for Doncic, who was looking for his teammates after the one-on-one against Ayton or also from his superiority in the post against Paul.
Supporting actors kept coming in Dallas, so much so that Bertans hit the first four 3-pointers he attempted.
The Mavericks, with sky-high confidence, they went on to win by 17 points in the second quarter with Dinwiddie shining in Doncic’s halftime minutes.
But Ayton on the inside and Crowder doing a bit of everything helped Booker to keep the Suns in the game.
At halftime, the worst news for Phoenix was not the score (68-56) nor the 14 three-pointers (of 24 attempts) that the inspired Mavericks had made, since the most worrying thing for the visitors was the fourth foul that Paul added just in time. the last second before going to the locker room.
Compared to other days where Doncic had no one to cling to, the Mavericks’ bench dazzled in the first half with 29 points (only 8 from the Suns’ reserves).
The Suns returned to the court with a great desire to change the dynamics of the game and showed their claws both in defense and in the fight for the rebound.
The Mavericks took almost four minutes to score their first points in the restartbut Paul’s fifth foul, on a goofy action as he ran the ball up against Brunson’s pressure, cut off the Suns’ momentum.
Thus, Doncic, Brunson and Finney-Smith joined forces so that the Mavericks, who had broken their idyll with the triple in that quarter (2 of 11), did not fall apart before the fourth quarter despite the Suns’ comeback threats. (87-78).
With both teams frankly misguided, Paul capped off his awful performance with his sixth foul by fighting Brunson for a rebound.
There were still nine minutes left, but it didn’t look like the Suns had gunpowder in their magazine to turn the score around.
Thus, the triples of Finney-Smith and the solidity of Doncic in the outcome they closed a very important victory for the Mavericks and that leaves the series completely open.