The Dallas Mavericks have made a big upset in Phoenix tonight, eliminating the Phoenix Suns from the NBA playoffs. Game 7 of their Western Conference series saw the Mavs rolling over the Suns and humiliating them at the Footprint center, 123-90.
This was by far the best performance of the Mavericks in a while, and all that was because of their backcourt that scored two-thirds of points.
As in pretty much all the previous events, Luka Doncic was the leader. The young Slovenian had 35 points and 10 boards, hitting six threes and having a very good shooting percentage, 12-for-19. Meanwhile, his backcourt partner, Jalen Brunson, had 24 buckets, 11-for-19 from the field.
But the biggest surprise and the X-factor happened to be Spencer Dinwiddie, who ended the night with 30 points off the bench, 11-for-15 from the floor, and five threes in seven attempts.
“The only thing I told him is don’t go left cause you shoot airballs. You gotta go right,” Luka Doncic said with a smile on his face regarding Dinwiddie’s fantastic night.
Spencer Dinwiddie in Game 7:
That’s the 2nd most points off the bench ever in a Game 7, trailing only Eddie Johnson’s 34. pic.twitter.com/8sxDXH291R
— StatMuse (@statmuse) May 16, 2022
Dallas was up early on, and after the opening quarter, the Mavs had a 10-point advantage. Then came the second period, once they obliterated the Suns, scoring 30 and allowing only 10 buckets. It was visible that the hosts were under pressure because they missed open shots. As time went by, the Suns were even more stiffer, caught in a whirl of missed shots and increasing pressure.
“We just could not execute tonight. Couldn’t make a shot early, that messed with us a little bit and Dallas played their tails of from start to finish,” said Monty Williams, Phoenix’s head coach.
At one point, the Mavericks had a 46-point lead, which was by all means, something that nobody expected to see on Sunday night. It was evident at the halftime that the Suns won’t be making any comeback here and that the Mavs are going to the Western Conference finals.
Both Chris Paul and Devin Booker weren’t a factor on the floor. They both combined for 21 points. Booker had 11, shooting 3-for-14 and missing all of his four threes. Meanwhile, Paul had 10 buckets.
“We played all season to be in this situation,” Paul said. “It didn’t work out for us.”
The defensive effort of the Suns was below any decent standards. The No.1 seed allowed 56.8% to Dallas and 19 threes in 39 attempts, which says enough. Meanwhile, they were below 38% in each of the shooting categories.
This comes as a massive hit for the Suns, who already lost the finals during the previous season. The situation isn’t shinny at all, because the vital point of this unit, Paul, is nearing his 38th birthday, and it is a big question whether he can play at the top level anymore. Deandre Ayton wants a max contract this summer, while on the other end, the management isn’t willing to give him that offer.
We could easily witness a completely different Phoenix Suns next season, with lots of new faces, and that means more time for adjusting and creating chemistry.
As for the Mavs, they are up against the Golden State Warriors in the West Finals. This is the first time for Luka to reach here and for many of the other players from Dallas. The Mavs have no pressure on their back, which could be a big plus. Game 1 of that series is on Wednesday night in San Francisco.
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.