Luka Doncic scored 35 points, Spencer Dinwiddie added 30 and the Dallas Mavericks stunned top seed Phoenix Suns with a 123-90 Game 7 win on Sunday night, advancing to the Western Conference finals for the first time since 2011.
Dallas broke through on the road after the home team won the first six games of the series, dominating from start to finish. Rather, it was an embarrassing absence for the Suns who advanced to last season’s NBA Finals on a very similar roster.
The fourth-seeded Mavericks travel to face Golden State in Game 1 on Wednesday.
Doncic put the Mavs in the lead, making his first three shots, including two three-pointers. That helped Dallas push to a 27-17 lead in the first quarter and a 57-27 lead at the break. Doncic and Dinwiddie, who came off the bench, united to contribute 48 of the Mavericks’ 57 points.
Game play 7? Not in the desert.
Simply put, the Suns looked overwhelmed by the pressure of Game 7. They missed the shots they normally would, made bad passes they normally don’t and didn’t look like the team that won the NBA’s best 64 games during the regular season. Towards halftime, many Suns fans booed the unsightly display.
The series may be imminent but individual play usually isn’t. Three of the first six matches were decided by at least 20 points and none of the matches ended in final possession.
Game 7 follows the same pattern, except the team that does all the damage is the road team. Doncic was fantastic, shooting from across the pitch and completing 12 of 19 shots from the field, including 6 of 11 three-pointers. He also had an assist: Dinwiddie was fantastic in the first half with 21 points from 7 from 10 shooting, including 4 from 5 from three points.
Meanwhile, Chris Paul and Devin Booker’s All-Star Phoenix backcourt was never a factor. 37-year-old Paul is a 12-time All-Star who has done almost everything possible in the game except win the championship.
After this setback, it’s natural to wonder if there will be more opportunities. Booker finished with 11 points and shot 3 of 14. Paul had 10 points and four assists. The Suns shot just 37.9% from the field.
Dallas beats the odds with a win: After the Celtics beat the Bucks earlier on Sunday, the home team is 110-33 (77%) in NBA Game 7s.
This is the second year in a row the Suns have lost in a playoff series after going 2-0 up. They won the first two games against the Bucks in the NBA Finals last season before losing four games in a row.
Milwaukee Bucks 81-109 Phoenix Suns
Grant Williams scored a career-high 27 points and hit seven 3-pointers, Jayson Tatum added 23 and the Boston Celtics scored a Game 7 record with 22 3-pointers to oust NBA champions Milwaukee Bucks 109-81 on Sunday in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
Boston will face top seed Miami starting Tuesday in a rematch of the East 2020 finals. The Heat beat the Celtics in six games in the series at Walt Disney World.
The Celtics fell behind early but beat the Bucks 61-38 in the second half to take the win. Boston used a 54-point advantage from the back of the arc to improve to 25-9 in the decisive seventh game. Bucks are now 3-9 in Game 7s. They went 4 for 33 (12.1%) off the three-point line. It was the second-worst three-point percentage in a playoff game ever (at least 30 attempts).
Giannis Antetokounmpo had 25 points, 20 rebounds and nine assists. But he was only 3 of 11 in the paint in the second half, including 1 for 6 of the fourth quarter. Jrue Holiday added 21 points and eight assists. Brook Lopez ended the game with 15 points and 10 rebounds.
NBA Playoffs: Stars Doncic and Dinwiddie as the Mavs crush the No1 Suns seed in Game 7 | NBA
Source link NBA Playoffs: Stars Doncic and Dinwiddie as the Mavs crush the No1 Suns seed in Game 7 | NBA