The Dallas Mavericks evened the Western conference semifinals, 2-2, with their 111-101 win over the Phoenix Suns at home on Sunday.
Phoenix dropped its second consecutive game in Dallas, and will play Game 5 on Tuesday at 7 pm, at Footprint Center in Phoenix.
Devin Booker had a game-high 35 points and added seven assists with four rebounds. Mavericks’ Luka Doncic had a team-high 26 points, and Dorian Finney-Smith had 24 including his game-high eight 3-pointers.
It didn’t take long for Chris Paul to come in and go right back to the bench for the rest of this game.
After the Suns All-Star point guard sat for most of the third quarter with five fouls, he re-entered the game at 10:28 in the fourth and was called for his sixth at 8:58.
Paul tried to avoid his final foul call as he defended Mavericks point guard Jalen Brunson with his hands straight up in on a left block post move. When Brunson missed the dropstep move, Paul barely reached out with his right arm and tapped Brunson’s right arm on his rebound as Suns big Bismack Biyombo rotated over to contest the putback.
Paul finished with a minimal five points (2-of-4 FG), seven assists, five rebounds, and two turnovers in 23 minutes. That’s his second-lowest playoff scoring performance since the Suns’ Game 4 lloss in the first round against the New Orleans Pelicans on April
Suns are down 99-88 with five minutes to play.
Similar to Game 3, Phoenix has had its collective back against the wall for most of Sunday afternoon’s game.
The Suns were down, 87-78, to Dallas entering the fourth.
Chris Paul sat most of the third quarter after he picked up his fifth foul at 9:32 early in the third.
Suns’ Devin Booker has a game-high 29 points, and Mavericks’ Luka Doncic has his team-high 20.
Devin Booker has scored eight of his game-high 27 points (8-of-14 FG) with his three assists and three rebounds through late in the third quarter.
The Suns trail Dallas, 82-76, at 1:57 left in the period after Mavericks took a full timeout.
Chris Paul got deeper into foul trouble early in the third quarter.
As the Suns trailed 68-61, he had to be substituted with Cameron Payne at 9:32 after Paul got a defensive rebound and was called for initiating contact with Mavericks point guard Jalen Brunson as Paul lowered his body and dribbled in the backcourt. That caused Brunson to fall on top of Paul, and both went down.
Monty Williams challenged the call, which was deemed unsuccessful.
Dallas leads, 75-65, at 6:30 left in the third.
The Mavericks lead Phoenix, 68-56, their largest scoring amount in one half during this postseason.
Chris Paul has five points, six assists, four assists, but he has a negative one-half stat. The Suns floor generally has four fouls, the first time he’s had that many in a half during either this past regular season and this postseason.
Paul was called for his latest one at 1.1 seconds left to play as he attempted to tip in his 10-foot missed shot as Mavericks’ Luka Doncic went after the 50/50 ball and fell out of bounds under the basket.
Devin Booker leads all scorers on his 19 points (5-of-9 FG). Doncic has his team-high 16 points, six asssts, three rebounds and one steal.
Dallas has gotten a huge boost from its bench compared to the Suns’ by outscoring their second unit, 29-8. That includes Mavericks small forward Davis Bertans 12 points, who’s been stroking well from beyond the arc (4-of-5).
Jae Crowder came back to the bench at the start of the second quarter. The Suns starting power forward reportedly told Suns coach Monty Williams he’s OK to play.
He looks fine and continued his hot hand this series by hitting two 3s in two consecutive Suns possessoin at 9:05 and 8:40 to cut the Mavericks’ lead to 46-35.
Crowder had eight points on 3-of-5 shooting, 2-of-3 from deep.
The Suns were down 40-25 after the first, Dallas’ highest-scoring first quarter of the series and biggest lead entering a period.
When Deandre Ayton was asked about the Mavericks’ style of play days before the start of this series, the Suns’ big said “they shoot a lot of 3s.”
And that’s been true, much to the chagrin of Phoenix’s defense in Game 4’s first quarter.
Dallas hit 8-of-13 from deep, many as a result of the Suns’ late closeout and not facing Mavericks players along the perimeter one pass away from their teammates’ handling the ball. The Suns are having trouble defending dribble penetration and are getting caught behind screen
Suns coach Monty Williams told ESPN’s Cassidy Hubbarth that he graded his team’s defense with a “C” at the start of the second quarter.
The Suns are down 24-13 at 5:11 of the first, and they took a full timeout after Mavericks’ Dorian Finney-Smith’s 3 assisted by Luka Doncic.
Jae Crowder, Phoenix’s top shooter in this series, was hurt on a dribble drive from the left wing toward the paint. Crowder grabbed his right ankle after he was defended by Doncic.
Cameron Johnson came in for Crowder after the timeout after Crowder went to the locker room.
Suns’ Devin Booker began the game on a 3-pointer, just like he did in Game 3.
But the Mavericks quickly gained momentum after Booker hit Phoenix’s first two buckets.
Dallas is leading 13-8 at 8:28, and the Suns called a timeout to stop the run. After Luka Doncic has led the Mavericks’ 12-3 run since the 10:30 mark. Doncic has 7 points and has shot 3-of-4 FG.
PG Chris Paul, SG Devin Booker, SF Mikal Bridges, PF Jae Crowder, C Deandre Ayton
PG Jalen Brunson, SG Luka Doncic, SF Reggie Bullock, PF Dorian Finney-Smith, C Dwight Powell
The NBA took time to shout out “the real MVPs” who gave birth to many of the league’s superstars by posting a Mother’s Day montage video on Twitter Sunday.
This includes Suns’ Devin Booker hugging his mother Veronica Gutierrez. Other All-Stars in the clip include, but aren’t limited to, Lakers’ Anthony Davis and LeBron James, Bulls’ DeMar DeRozan, Mavericks’ Luka Doncic, Warriors’ Steph Curry and many others.
Suns forwards Torrey Craig (elbow) and Dario Saric (knee) are out for Game 4.
The Suns are a 2.5-point favorite in the game against the Mavericks on Sunday, according to Tipico Sportsbook.
Phoenix is -140 on the money line and Dallas is +115.
The over/under for the game is set at 214.5 points.
click here for picks and predictions for the Suns vs. Mavericks game on Sunday.
The game will be broadcast on ESPN beginning at 12:30 pm Arizona time.
Play-by-play will be provided by Mark Jones with analysis from Richard Jefferson and sideline reports by Cassidy Hubbarth.
click here to see the entire Suns vs. Mavericks NBA Playoffs series schedule.