The Mavs leave Arizona led 2-0 and above all after receiving a good spanking. After being tied for three quarters with the Suns, the guests exploded in a few minutes of madness, signed by Chris Paul, then Devin Booker. After two fights, the defending finalists seem to have too much in their game not to repel the Texans.
Seeing Mikal Bridges, Devin Booker and the other Suns starting the game very strong (9-0), and Luka Doncic sending his first pass to the stands, we thought that this Race 2 would start on the same basis as Race 1. This feeling was it quickly dissipated, at least in terms of the evolution of the score. Because as in the first round, Luka Doncic, who saw his backcourt partner Jalen Brunson have a complicated new start, took the game on his side Mavs.
Almost all of the opposing players have been sent to coal in an attempt to keep him from approaching the circle. In vain. Though sometimes it means abusing isolation, wanting to post Cam Johnson, the Slovenian scored or delivered the pass for 24 of his team’s top 28 points. With the excellent address of the league’s top scorer in the first quarters, Devin Booker, Phoenix still maintained a slight lead (32-28).
It wasn’t until the compelling rumors of trio of Texas substitutes Spencer Dinwindie, Davis Bertans, both adept from afar to start, and Maxi Kleber to see Luka Doncic being supported up front. And above all to see the Mavs score for the first time… in the series (38-43). Up front, the Suns lacked clarity in attack with a surprising sequence of offensive fouls. They managed to stay on the pitch thanks to an unexpected hero, Jae Crowder, skilled from afar and never the last to go in close contact with Luka Doncic (58-60).
During the break, Phoenix reminded himself that if he defended hard, the gap would widen. The locals have thus increased their defensive intensity, like several balls deflected by Mikal Bridges in front of the Slovenian. The latter was much better contained in this third period, during which Reggie Bullock, a rare Texan to float motionless, converted three prize baskets. Still in contact at the beginning of the last quarter (89-83), the guests will explode in the following minutes.
The fault of an exceptional Chris Paul of address, imitated by Devin Booker who had already had the opportunity to warm up in the third quarter. Seven minutes later, the game was folded (119-95) and Jason Kidd decided to wave the white flag by emptying his bench.
WHAT YOU MUST REMEMBER
– Storm Chris Paul! Look no further for this game’s MVP. At the start of the fourth quarter, the leader decided to take matters into his own hands with an assumed strategy: targeting Luka Doncic in defense. He thus mobilized who knows how many times Landry Shamet to obtain this desired “matchup” against the Slovenian, which he overflowed with his left hand or made people suffer with his “fadeaway” in the suburbs. The leader, transformed into a killer, thus scored 14 points in just six minutes before returning to the bench for a well-deserved rest. He had just finished the Mavs.
– Mavs defense explodes. 77 points in Race 5, 96 points in Race 6… The defensive renderings of the previous series seem far away. After containing the Jazz, one of the best attacks in the league, in the first round the Mavs exploded again in defense against the collective army of the Suns. And to say that their executioner in Game 1, Deandre Ayton, did not even reach 10 points … This is to say the offensive margin available to Monty Williams players who last night shot with exceptional skill percentages (64.5 % of which 52% by far).
– Interior punished! This meeting was characterized by the amount of blame distributed. The interiors were, on both sides, the most affected by the phenomenon. Dwight Powell and Dorian Finney-Smith could barely speak. Ditto in front of a Deandre Ayton who was unable to reproduce his very good exit from the first match. Even his replacement, JaVale McGee, author of very solid rumors, was too in touch in the racketeering. Result: Bismack Biyombo benefited from his best playing time in these playoffs and signed the best contribution of him.
TOP / FLOPS
✅ Devin Booker. Undoubtedly the most consistent of the Suns throughout the game, except in the second quarter. The back was much more effective than in the previous game. After Chris Paul’s great pass, he took home the point with three consecutive prize baskets before returning to the bench himself.
✅ Jae Crowder. Energy in defense, a bit of “trashtalking” with Luka Doncic, address from distance, some nice balls shown below for JaVale McGee, the “role player” brought everything that could be expected from him. A reference match for the winger who has suffered so far for the level of skill.
✅ ⛔ Luca Doncic. Great new first period for the attacking midfielder Mavs (24 points) who had a much less impact in the second. His big game in attack must not make us forget his seven lost balls and his difficulties in defense: at the end of the game he was personally targeted by Chris Paul. Like the other owners of his team, he finished with a hyper-negative +/- ratio (-28).
⛔ Jalen Brunson. A faithful copy of his Game 1 with awkwardness and concern for guilt to start the match. The difference to him with his first game is that he really didn’t see any offensive improvement, with constant embarrassment near the circle or at half distance. Without its own wake-up call, it seems complicated for Dallas.
Game 3 : in Dallas, the night between Friday May 6 and Saturday May 7, at 3:30 am.