NBA 2022 playoffs: Luka Doncic storms Dallas Mavericks into finals vs Phoenix Suns
Dallas Mavericks defeated Phoenix Suns 123-90 in the Western Conference semis of the NBA 2022 playoffs. Luka Doncic played a critical role in helping the Mavericks storm into the final.
It was a contrasting day out for the two teams. While the host Phoenix Suns were not in their best form in its deciding game of the Western Conference semis of the NBA 2022 playoffs, visitor Dallas Mavericks were on a different level altogether. The latter put on a splendid show, aided by its top in-form forward Luka Doncic, to storm into the Western Conference final. Played at the Footprint Center in Phoenix, Arizona, on Sunday, the Suns were ousted 123-90. Meanwhile, the Mavericks would be taking on the Golden State Warriors in the first game on Wednesday in San Francisco.
It came as the second setback of Sunday after the record 17-time former champion Boston Celtics was knocked out by the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks 109-81 in the Eastern Conference semis. As for the Suns, it had the best regular-season record. However, it looked far from its best on Sunday. In the first half, it registered a season-low of 24.4% in the field and had just 27 points at the half-time.
On the other hand, Doncic accumulated 27 points of his own in the opening half, while the Mavericks possessed a lead of 30 points during the same, which is the largest in any final playoffs semis game. By the end of the third quarter, the Mavericks had a 42-point lead, the most extensive trail for the Suns this season. Doncic managed to finish with 35 points, ten rebounds and four assists in his three quarters before being subbed in the final quarter, while Spencer Dinwiddie added 30 more after coming off the bench.
For the Suns, Devin Booker and Chris Paul worked together to earn 0-for-11 three points from the field. While Booker bagged 11 points, Paul collected ten. They both sat out for the final six minutes while both teams utilised their bench strength shortly afterwards. Meanwhile, it was a heartbreak for Paul, who has now been a part of two sides surrendering a 2-0 lead in the playoffs. As for the Suns, it registered 37.9% shots during the game, along with 35.3% from the three-point range.