pcloudy.png
Tuesday May 24th, 2022 6:39PM

Doncic, Mavericks cruise past Suns 113-86 to force Game 7

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

DALLAS (AP) — Luka Doncic has his first victory in an elimination game.

Now the young Dallas superstar gets another one — and another Game 7 to boot.

Doncic scored 33 points and the Mavericks beat the Phoenix Suns 113-86 on Thursday night to force a deciding game in the Western Conference semifinals.

The home team has won all six games, none with a margin closer than seven points. A trip to the West finals will be at stake Sunday in Phoenix.

The Mavericks won when facing elimination for the first time in three tries with the 23-year-old Doncic, their three-time All-Star point guard.

The two losses came against the Clippers the past two seasons, including Game 7 in Los Angeles last year after the visitors won the first six games, a first in the playoffs. Dallas is playing beyond the first round for the first time since winning the title 11 years ago, when first-year coach Jason Kidd was the point guard.

“I don't know if he was playing as if he was trying to do something different,” Kidd said. “I think he enjoys the moment. You guys have seen a little bit longer than I have up close. He's not afraid of the stage. I think you guys call it the first time winning an elimination game. He'll be in this situation a long, long time.”

The Suns, seeking a second consecutive trip to the conference finals, are going the distance in a series for the first time in two postseasons with Chris Paul and Devin Booker. The previous three went six, including Phoenix's loss to Milwaukee last year in the NBA Finals.

Booker scored 19 points but was shut out from 3-point range (0 of 4) while going 6 of 17. Deandre Ayton had 21 points and 11 rebounds, and Paul added 13 points.

The top-seeded Suns were held to a season low in scoring, regular season or playoffs, for the second time in the series. They shot a playoff-low 40% with 22 turnovers, the most all season.

“I don’t have enough time to talk about everything that’s eating at me,” coach Monty Williams said. “I didn’t think we understood the desperation they were going to play with. Couple that with the turnovers that we had tonight, it’s a recipe for what we just got.”

The 37-year-old Paul is now in line for his eighth Game 7, while the 27-year-old Booker is about to play his first.

“Greatest two words in sports,” Booker said. “I’m excited to feel the energy. I’m excited to be a part of it. It’s a great opportunity.”

Reggie Bullock scored 19 points for Dallas, going 5 of 11 from 3-point range after being held scoreless and getting just five shots total in Game 5. Jalen Brunson added 18, and Spencer Dinwiddie had a series-high 15, all on 3s (5 of 7).

Doncic played through an apparent left leg injury that sent him to the locker room when he would have been out of the game anyway in the second quarter. He returned to the bench and rode a stationary bike before re-entering the game.

Soon after, the Mavericks went on a decisive 19-5 run to finish the first half, turning a two-point lead into a 60-45 halftime edge.

It was a home-team replay of the third quarter from Game 5, when Phoenix went on a 17-0 run for an 18-point lead and ended up winning by 30.

Doncic, who had 11 rebounds and eight assists, fought his shot while fighting the injury early, but had a 3 on the late first-half run and scored 10 in the third to help the Mavericks push their lead to 22 (94-72).

Paul avoided the problems with fouls that cost the Suns in the second loss in Dallas. But he was never much of a factor, getting just seven shots.

Booker was stuck on eight points while Dallas pulled away in the second and third quarters, opening the second half with a miss on an ill-advised 3 and not scoring again until the Suns were down 21 late in the third.

“I think we won this game on the defensive end,” Doncic said. “We've got another game. That's fun. It's playoffs, and we're going to give our energy.”

TURNOVER TURNAROUND

Booker's eight turnovers also were a season high, regular season included. The Phoenix miscues came after Dallas had 12 turnovers in the third quarter of Game 5 while getting outscored 33-14. Paul wasn't as bad as the seven turnovers in the first half of Game 3, the most he's ever had in a half in a playoff game. But he had five more in Game 6.

TIP-INS

Suns: Ayton got a technical for elbowing Doncic in the face when Doncic fouled him on a dunk in the third quarter. Doncic missed the technical free throw, and Ayton finished the three-point play. ... Bismack Biyombo didn't have the same impact as the replacement for JaVale McGee, who didn't play for the first time in the series. Biyombo had four points and three rebounds in 14 minutes.

Mavericks: This was the 10th consecutive time this season the Mavericks have answered a loss of at least 20 points with a victory. The streak is actually 13 games going back to last season, including a playoff win at the Clippers after a 25-point loss at home. ... Dallas recovered from a slow start from 3 to finish 16 of 39 (41%). It was another strong night despite the continuing struggles of Doncic, who was 2 of 8 to put him at 7 of 33 over the past four games.

___

More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/nba and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Basketball, AP Sports - NBA
© Copyright 2022 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Binnington makes 25 saves, Blues win 5-1, eliminate Wild
Jordan Binnington made 25 saves and the St. Louis Blues beat the Minnesota Wild 5-1 in Game 6 to advance to the second round of the Western Conference playoffs
12:30AM ( 25 minutes ago )
Madison Cawthorn tries to survive primary as slip-ups mount
A series of unforced political and personal errors by GOP congressman Madison Cawthorn has brought the forces of big-name Republicans and traditional enemies to bear on his reelection bid in North Carolina
12:19AM ( 36 minutes ago )
Doncic, Mavericks cruise past Suns 113-86 to force Game 7
Luka Doncic scored 33 points and the Dallas Mavericks beat the Phoenix Suns 113-86 on Thursday night to force a Game 7 in the Western Conference semifinals
12:18AM ( 37 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Point scores in OT, Lightning-Maple Leafs head to Game 7
Brayden Point scored on a rebound with 1:56 remaining in overtime to give the Tampa Bay Lightning a 4-3 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs and force a Game 7 in the first round playoff series between the Atlantic Division rivals
11:27PM ( 1 hour ago )
Heat beat 76ers 99-90 in Game 6 to advance to East finals
Jimmy Butler scored 32 points and waved “bye bye” to the Philly crowd as he sent the Miami Heat into the Eastern Conference finals with a 99-90 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday night in Game 6
11:23PM ( 1 hour ago )
Bruins back home, beat Hurricanes 5-2 to force 7th game
Brad Marchand scored one goal and assisted on another to lead the Boston Bruins past the Carolina Hurricanes 5-2 and send their first-round playoff series to a decisive seventh game
9:50PM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Sports
EXPLAINER: WNBA star Brittney Griner's detention in Russia
As WNBA star and two-time Olympic gold medalist Brittney Griner approaches the three-month mark of her detention in Russia, she has no clear prospect of release
4:47PM ( 8 hours ago )
Grizzlies rout Warriors to avoid elimination, force Game 6
Jaren Jackson Jr., Desmond Bane and Tyus Jones each scored 21 points and the Memphis Grizzlies routed the Golden State Warriors 134-95 on Wednesday night to avoid elimination and force a sixth game in the Western Conference semifinal
12:46AM ( 1 day ago )
Giannis jokes (?) about taking time off for Greek freakout
The Milwaukee Bucks are still alive in the NBA playoffs, but star Giannis Antetokounmpo is already joking about his plans for next year
11:38PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Online Basketball
Grizzlies star Ja Morant doubtful for rest of NBA playoffs
The Memphis Grizzlies say All-Star guard Ja Morant is doubtful for the remainder of the postseason after an MRI and further evaluation revealed a bone bruise in his injured right knee
6:48PM ( 2 days ago )
Ja Morant doubtful for rest of NBA playoffs with bone bruise
The Memphis Grizzlies say All-Star guard Ja Morant is doubtful for the remainder of the postseason after an MRI and further evaluation revealed a bone bruise in his injured right knee
6:44PM ( 2 days ago )
Hammon has Aces off to hot start with wins in first 2 games
Becky Hammon's first two games as a head coach in the WNBA went well for the former NBA assistant with the Las Vegas Aces winning both contests
5:20PM ( 2 days ago )
AP Sports - NBA
Binnington makes 25 saves, Blues win 5-1, eliminate Wild
Jordan Binnington made 25 saves and the St. Louis Blues beat the Minnesota Wild 5-1 in Game 6 to advance to the second round of the Western Conference playoffs
12:30AM ( 25 minutes ago )
Madison Cawthorn tries to survive primary as slip-ups mount
A series of unforced political and personal errors by GOP congressman Madison Cawthorn has brought the forces of big-name Republicans and traditional enemies to bear on his reelection bid in North Carolina
12:19AM ( 36 minutes ago )
Stanton homers twice as Yankees beat White Sox 15-7
Giancarlo Stanton homered twice and drove in six runs, and the New York Yankees used a seven-run eighth inning to beat the Chicago White Sox 15-7 for their fourth straight victory
12:14AM ( 41 minutes ago )
Kremlin warns of retaliation after Finland moves toward NATO
The Kremlin warned about taking retaliatory steps after Finland’s leaders came out in favor of applying to join NATO
12:07AM ( 48 minutes ago )
Experts: Arizona executioners took too long to insert IV
The first execution in Arizona in nearly eight years was carried out more smoothly than the state’s last use of the death penalty, when a condemned prisoner who was given 15 doses of a two-drug combination gasped for air hundreds of times over nearly two hours
11:49PM ( 1 hour ago )