Game 4 between the Phoenix Suns and the Dallas Mavericks, will have a major impact on this series. If the Suns win, they will open the door to the next series. But if Luka and the crew post a victory, the show is about to start. Dallas responded in Game 3 of the series, winning and sending a message to the rivals that things will be different now compared to the opening two events in Phoenix. American Airlines Center is one tough place to be in the playoffs, and the Suns felt that firsthand.
Phoenix Suns (-120) didn’t have their usual flow on the offensive side of the ball in Game 3. Why? Well, it appears that they didn’t adjust to the new circumstances and the foul criteria. We saw that in the first round of the playoffs that sometimes, the Suns know to have problems, especially when Chris Paul struggles.
CP3 had seven turnovers on Friday night, with only 12 points. On top of that, the Suns’ leader dished only four assists, way too low for his standards and averages in the playoffs.
Even though Phoenix had five players with ten or more points, there wasn’t a single one with 20+ buckets. On the other side, the bench was inefficient, scoring only 17 points.
Dallas Mavericks (+100) have shown their true defensive potential, which was, by the way, their biggest strength throughout the entire year. That is how they reached the fourth seed in the West in the first place.
Limiting the Suns to just 94 points is a very big deal, and that didn’t happen too many times this year. Devin Booker was stopped on 18 points, while the entire Phoenix team had only 76 FG attempts, making 34. Jason Kidd got what he wanted, and for the first time in the series, his team was dictating the tempo.
Jalen Brunson was in the mood, and that might be the biggest reason for the win. The Mavs’ X-factor scored 28 points, attacking Chris Paul constantly and making him uncomfortable. Luka had 26 points and was an assist short of a triple-double, adding 13 boards. Reggie Bullock scored 15 points, while Maxi Kleber and Dorian Finney-Smith both had 14 buckets each.
Head to Head Games
Friday’s win over the Suns, was the first one for the Mavericks over this rival this season. The final result was 103-94. After the first two events in which the Suns scored 120+ points (121-114 and 129-109), the Mavericks stabilized the defense, and for the first time, Brunson showed up.
The Mavs are now fired up after winning the previous game, and for sure their morale is at a high level. On the other side, the top contenders for the title will try to respond, that is for sure. Are they going to be successful, we don’t know. But we are more than sure that the defenses are going to take the leading role on Sunday night. Dallas will keep on at the same pace, while on the other side, the Suns will pump up their defensive effort as well.
Pick: Under 215 points
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.