NBA playoffs

Mavericks bury 20 threes in series equalizer with Suns

Mavericks bury 20 threes in series equalizer with Suns

ON POINT. Dallas superstar Luka Doncic leads the Mavericks to a 2-2 semis equalizer against Phoenix

Jerome Miron/USA Today/Reuters

Dallas limits veteran guard Chris Paul to 5 points as it ties its West semis series at two games apiece

Luka Doncic had a double-double, and Dorian Finney-Smith led a three-point shooting barrage as the host Dallas Mavericks defeated the Phoenix Suns 111-101 on Sunday, May 8 (Monday, May 9, Manila time) to even their Western Conference semifinal series at 2-2.

Doncic had 26 points and 11 assists, and Finney-Smith scored 24 points, making 8-of-12 threes as the Mavericks finished 20-of-44 from beyond the arc. Jalen Brunson scored 18 points, Davis Bertans had 12, Maxi Kleber 11, and Spencer Dinwiddie 10.

Devin Booker scored 35 points, Jae Crowder had 15, Deandre Ayton added 14 and 11 rebounds, and Cameron Johnson scored 11 to lead the Suns, who made 9-of-25 three-pointers.

Suns guard Chris Paul played just 23 minutes, finishing with 5 points and 7 assists before fouling out with 8:58 left.

Game 5 will be Tuesday night, May 10 (Wednesday, May 11, Manila time) in Phoenix.

The Mavericks led 87-78 when Paul returned to the game with five fouls and 10:28 remaining. The lead was still eight when he fouled out a minute and a half later.

Mikal Bridges’ basket got Phoenix within six points before Finney-Smith made consecutive three-pointers to complete an 8-0 run that gave Dallas a 97-83 lead midway through the fourth quarter.

Dallas led by seven when Paul went to the bench after committing his fifth foul with 9:32 left in the third quarter. Shortly after Paul’s departure, the Mavericks scored seven straight points for a 75-63 lead.

Booker scored six points to help Phoenix trim the lead to four, but Dallas scored the last five points to push the lead to 87-78 at the end of the quarter.

Finney-Smith and Bertans each made two triples as the Mavericks turned a 19-13 lead into a 37-25 advantage at the end of the first quarter.

Bertans made consecutive threes, and Dinwiddie added another as they built a 46-29 lead.

Crowder made back-to-back long bombs, and Paul added five points as Phoenix closed within 54-48.

Doncic made seven free throws in the first half for Dallas, which rebuilt the lead to 68-56 at halftime. His last two free throws came after Paul committed his fourth foul with one second left. –