Dallas Mavericks shortens against Phoenix! Jalen Brunson towers up and covers Doncic’s bad problems

The Dallas Mavericks achieved their first win in the series against the Phoenix Suns. Mavs won Game 3 103: 94, but had to shake again briefly in the fourth quarter due to Luka Doncic’s error problems. But Jalen Brunson ran in the break.

Brunson, who had taken some criticism after the first two games in Phoenix, was Mavs’ best scorer with 28 points (10/21 FG) and was excellent in the phases where Luka Doncic struggled with error problems in the second half. The Slovenian still got a triple-double with 26 points (11/25), 13 rebounds and 9 assists in 34 minutes.

Doncic’s defense in the fourth quarter was still problematic as he obviously wanted to avoid any contact. Reggie Bullock (15, 4/10 threes), Dorian Finney-Smith (14, 4/11 threes) and Maxi Kleber (14, 6/9, 3 rebounds, 4 assists) made up for this with passionate commitment.

At the Suns, all starters scored double-digit, but Jae Crowder was already the most diligent points collector with 19 points (5/8 3P). Especially Devin Booker (18, 6/13, 6 assists) and Chris Paul (12, 5/9, 4 assists, 7 turnovers) remained pale for long stretches and could not turn the match in the final section either.

The start of the Mavs was weak again, but with the fans’ euphoria and much more passion, the hosts achieved the highest league lead (20:13) in the middle of the quarter. Brunson was in rhythm (already 10 points), it helped that the Suns no longer hit every shot from the middle distance, and CP3 produced turnovers that were atypical of him (29:20).

With Doncic on the bench, Mavs increased the pace and the visitors hardly got any good trades. Dinwiddie was active in the defense and also made a certain move to the basket. And yet Mavs left a lot, especially the jump shots were a problem. So Doncic decided to play more bullshit, both Mikal Bridges and Booker had no chance. The Slovenian had 17 points at the break, Paul had 7 turnovers – and yet the hosts led “only” 51:44.

Jalen Brunson joins Doncic too late

Mavs got off to a good start in the second half. Finney-Smith scored two triples and the hosts forced a couple of stops. Doncic controlled the game, but showed defensive weaknesses again and had four errors on the bench in the middle of the period. So it was back to Brunson to make sure of the attack and the guard delivered. In return, a bit came from the Suns backfield, instead, several threes came from Crowder, who kept the visitors inside the match. The lead was increased to +15 after three sections (82:67).

Mavs also managed the lead at first, but the momentum changed somewhat as Doncic admitted another mistake and coach Jason Kidd gave up a challenge he might have won. Booker and CP3 instantly hit jump shots, Reggie Bullock hit a three for relief. The Suns collected six points in four minutes without Doncic and pushed the deficit back into the single digits.

The visitors could not get closer than 8. Brunson pulled four penalty throws and also struck a leg against Paul, Bullock finally put the lid on the now trembling Mavs after a broken game from the corner with almost a minute left on the clock (102: 91).

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