What a masterpiece by Chris Paul! The Point God ripped the Dallas Mavericks apart in the fourth quarter of Game 2, leading the Phoenix Suns to a 129-109 victory. Even 35 points from Luka Doncic is not enough.
The Mavs defense simply could not find an answer to CP3 in the last section, who attacked the weak points with surgical precision – for the most part he was looking directly for the duel with Doncic – and with 14 of his 28 points in the fourth quarter, his colors led to the winning path . Paul sank 11/16 from the field, giving up 8 assists and snatching 6 rebounds.
Only Devin Booker scored better for the hosts, who also had very effective odds and scored 30 points (11/19 FG and 5/8 three). Otherwise, Jae Crowder (15) and Mikal Bridges (11) cracked the double-digit, while Deandre Ayton remained inconspicuous due to error issues. As a team, however, Phoenix set a new playoff franchise record for field goal percentage (64.5 percent).
Dallas could not keep up, even though Doncic was in a really good mood, especially in the first half. After 24 points in the first 24 minutes, he finished the match with 35 points (13/22 FG and 5/10 triple) and 7 assists with 7 turnovers. Reggie Bullock (16, 4/8 triple) and Spencer Dinwiddie (11, 3/10 FG) were the only other Mavs players with a double-digit number, with Jalen Brunson disappointing again (9, 3/12 FG). Maxi Kleber still had 9 points, 3 rebounds and 2 steals.
There were no changes in the starting line-ups compared to match 1, not even during the match in the first minutes. Dallas started with a Doncic turnover, which Bridges punished from downtown. Shortly after, Booker fell from the one-and-one jumper follow his famous playoff position – Phoenix quickly moved up by 10 points.
But: After a few minutes, the Mavs arrived in the match – thanks to Doncic. The Slovenian attacked and took matters into his own hands, napped Cam Johnson and created difficult fadeaways. His 14 points in the first quarter put Dallas back in the game, after the buzzer he exchanged treats with Crowder – 32:28 for the Suns.
Late masterpiece by Chris Paul gives Mavs no chance
With Doncic on the bench, Dinwiddie squirted energy into the Mavs offense, and Davis Bertans (9) even gave the Mavs their first lead of the entire series four minutes into the second quarter. The flow of the game then suffered from several errors. Crowder got a technical for more rubbish talk against Doncic, then swapped the two three-pointers. The Mavs star scored on his own the guests’ last 9 points, Dallas went into the locker room 60-58.
Booker apparently took a sip of MJ’s Secret Stuff during the break and single-handedly brought the Suns ahead after the break before a truly disgusting orgy from the first half continued. Ayton, Dorian Finney-Smith, Dwight Powell and JaVale McGee each admitted their fourth error relatively quickly. Away from the court Suns fans welcomed Doncic. Athletically, several Bullock threes brought Dallas back, but Phoenix went into the fourth quarter with an 89-83 advantage.
The Suns then mercilessly attacked Doncic in defense and hit their jumpers, especially Paul. The home team pulled away a bit before Doncic responded with a stepback three-pointer. But CP3 was everywhere now: after his next bucket, he tipped Mavs coach Jason Kidd to take a break – Dallas did too (103: 93 Suns).
The 36-year-old completed another absolute masterpiece in the fourth quarter and orchestrated a 21: 7 race. As Paul walked on the bench, Booker struck three more painful needle sticks at long range that increased the Suns lead to +24. The game was over. Dallas now has two days to regroup before the series resumes in Texas Saturday night.
The most important statistic
Phoenix Suns (1) – Dallas Mavericks (4) 129: 109 (BOXSCORE), Series: 2-0
- Doncic was directly involved in 24 of the 28 Mavs points in the first quarter through his own scoring or assists. However, this extreme dependence on the Slovenian made the good bench almost forgotten in the second quarter. In the minutes with Doncic on the bench, the Mavs were just +9 in the first half, which was due to the good production of Dinwiddie, Bertans or Kleber. With the exception of Bullock, there were not enough of the remaining starters.
- The story of the second quarter was … wrong. Offensive offenses to be exact. Meanwhile, the referees whistled for three offensive errors by the Suns in a row, and a total of 30 whistled in the first half. But when Phoenix made the most errors in the offense (7), Dallas had a significant disadvantage on penalty throws (6/8 to 14/16). In the end, there were 54 whistled errors.
- As in Game 1, Dallas had a small advantage from long range, the Texans sinking 17 threes, four more than the Suns. But Phoenix was an absolute efficiency machine, both from the center (13/25, 52 percent) and from the twos (36/51, 70.6 percent). In the end, this resulted in a field shot rate of 64.5 percent – a playoff franchise record!
- The Suns have an incredible 52-0 record based on that win as the team leads after the third quarter (regular season and playoffs). CP3 ensured that it remained the perfect record even after Game 2. Meanwhile, Phoenix has won 11 games in a row against Dallas.
NBA Playoffs – Suns vs. Mavs: The Voices
Luka Doncic (Mavs): “I just have to play a better defense. That’s all.”
Devin Booker (Suns) on Paul’s fourth quarter: “It impresses us every time we see it. But it does not surprise us.”
Game star: Chris Paul
What else is there to say about Point God? He owned the fourth quarter and even scored 9 of the first 14 Suns points in that period, assisting with the other 5. With his attacks, Doncic dismantled the defense at will, always coming to his places and taking Mavs down without blinking. Little reminder: On Friday, he celebrates his 37th birthday!
Game flop: Dorian Finney-Smith
Mav’s noble defender was a victim of the many wrong calls. Due to constant error problems, he was only on the floor for 20 minutes and had hardly any positive impact. He only contributed 2 versus offensively. Together with Doncic he had the worst plus / minus of all players (-28).
Fourth quarter in a nutshell: Doncic was powerless against CP3! With his constant attacks on the Mavs star, Paul had it relatively easy, fancy dribbles like this one mostly did not need it to get into the zone. But of course it looks a lot nicer that way, with the quick turn he left Doncic standing, and-one was actually just a formality.
NBA Playoffs: Suns vs. Mavs – The Series at a Glance (2-0)
|1||May 3||4 o’clock||Phoenix Suns||Dallas Mavericks||121: 114|
|2||May 5||4 o’clock||Phoenix Suns||Dallas Mavericks||129: 109|
|3||May 7||3.30||Dallas Mavericks||Phoenix Suns||–|
|4||May 8th||21.30||Dallas Mavericks||Phoenix Suns||–|
|5 *||May 11||TBD||Phoenix Suns||Dallas Mavericks||–|
|6 *||May 13||TBD||Dallas Mavericks||Phoenix Suns||–|
|7 *||May 16||TBD||Phoenix Suns||Dallas Mavericks||–|