Luka Doncic recorded 35 points and 10 rebounds and the Dallas Mavericks dismantled the host Phoenix Suns with a convincing 123-90 victory in Game 7 to claim a spot in the Western Conference finals on Sunday, May 15 (Monday, May 16, Manila time).
Spencer Dinwiddie poured in 30 points off the bench and Jalen Brunson added 24 as fourth-seeded Dallas steamrolled the top-seeded Suns. The Mavericks led by as many as 46 points while reaching the finals in the West for the first time since winning the 2011 NBA Finals.
Dallas will face the third-seeded Golden State Warriors in the conference finals. Game 1 is Wednesday night in San Francisco.
“I don’t know what to say but this was an amazing team win,” Doncic said afterward. “Everybody was locked in, everybody was playing as hard as they can. We didn’t take one play off. This is an incredible team win.
“I’m going to enjoy this win tonight, and tomorrow we will think about Golden State.”
Devin Booker scored 11 points on 3-of-14 shooting in his first career Game 7 for the Suns, who won an NBA-best 64 games. That output also set a franchise record.
Booker missed his first nine field goal attempts before sinking a jumper with five minutes left in the third quarter.
Starting anchors Booker, Chris Paul (10 points, 4-of-8 shooting) and Deandre Ayton (5 points, 2-for-5) totaled 26 points on combined 9-of-27 shooting. Overall, Phoenix shot 37.9% from the field, including 12-of-34 from behind the arc.
“They did a good job of getting the ball out of my hand and trapping,” Booker said. “I’ve always said I’m not the person who is going to try to shoot over eight people, I’m going to try to make the right play. I missed shots early and missed the open ones I got.”
The Mavericks were the first road team to win in the seven-game series. Dallas lost its first three visits to Phoenix by an average of 19 points, including a dismal 110-80 setback in Game 5.
After falling behind 2-0 and 3-2 in the series, Dallas won the final two games by an average of 30 points.
Dallas coach Jason Kidd didn’t care whether the winning margin was 33 or one.
“We’re not looking at the blowout. We just came in and executed our game plan,” Kidd said. “I think they came out and played it as just another game and played it as a high level. Offensively and defensively, we were active.”
The Mavericks shot 56.8% from the field and made 19-of-39 from three-point range in the wire-to-wire victory. Doncic was 6-of-11 from behind the arc and Dinwiddie made 5-of-7.
Cameron Johnson scored a team-high 12 for Phoenix, which sustained a painful loss after reaching last season’s NBA Finals before falling to the Milwaukee Bucks.
“We basically played the worst game of the season tonight,” Suns coach Monty Williams said. “That group has a lot of character and integrity. I know how bad they wanted it. We just could not execute, could not make a shot early, and that messed with us a little bit and Dallas played their tails off from start to finish.
“From my standpoint, I did not have us ready to play in a Game 7.”
The home fans booed the Suns off the court at halftime when the score was 57-27. Phoenix’s halftime total matched the output of Doncic, who was 9-of-12, including 4-of-7 from three-point range.
Dinwiddie added 21 in the half on 7-of-10 shooting and 4-of-5 from behind the arc.
Meanwhile, the Suns’ trio of Booker (0-of-7), Ayton (1-of-4), and Paul (0-of-4) were 1-of-15 for 6 points in the half.
Doncic scored 12 points in the first quarter as the Mavericks built a 27-17 lead.
Doncic (15) and Dinwiddie (13) combined for 28 points in the second quarter as Dallas outscored Phoenix 30-10.
After halftime, Dallas scored 15 of the first 20 points to stretch the lead to 40 at 72-32 with 7:44 left in the third quarter.
Dinwiddie’s final three-pointer, coming with 48.3 seconds left in the stanza, gave the Mavericks a 92-50 lead and they remained well ahead in the fourth quarter while finishing the startling wipeout win.
The Mavericks also halted a seven-game losing streak in Phoenix dating back to a victory early in the 2019-20 season. – Rappler.com