DALLAS — The Dallas Mavericks made the man known as the Point God shockingly fallible in Game 3 to get on the board in their series. On Sunday, Dallas made Chris Paul disappear entirely down the stretch, leading the Mavericks to see of another victory that has this series poised for a grandstand finish…and possibly an upset of the defending Western Conference champions.
Luka Doncic scored 26 points and dished out 11 assists, six Dallas scored in double figures and the the Mavericks saw off the final nine minutes of the game as the disqualified Chris Paul sat on the bench for Phoenix as Dallas defeated the Suns 111-101 to tie the Western Conference semifinals series at two games apiece.
“I think coming back home, we just talked about one thing – and that was Game 3. Once that was in the books, we had to focus on Game 4,” Mavericks head coach Jason Kidd said. “And now, understanding this afternoon what we had to do, we put ourselves in a position to win and we finished it. But the big thing is these guys are playing hard, they’re playing extremely hard and it’s great to see. From picking up full court to diving on the floor for the loose ball to protecting one another. It’s really cool to watch.”
Though the Mavericks were on the front foot from the start, scoring 37 first-quarter points and taking a 12-point lead after the first 12 minutes, the key point came late in the second quarter, when Suns coach inserted Chris Paul, who already had three fouls at the time, back into the game to give Phoenix a spark before halftime.
The spark went to the Mavericks when Paul, after missing a shot inside, picked up his fourth foul chasing down the rebound with one second left to go in the half.
“It’s tough. He’s one of the best point guards this league has ever had. His mentality, the way he sees the court, and his IQ are amazing,” said Luka Doncic, whom Paul fouled at the end of the half. “I think it was big time. He was in foul trouble and we tried to get after him and if you don’t have CP out there, it’s for sure tougher on the team.”
*Editor’s note: Above the byline is the photo gallery from Sunday afternoon’s game, with all photos taken by Dallas-area photographer Ross James. After clicking on the first photo to enlarge the picture, make sure to press the left and right arrow buttons to scroll through the rest of the pictures. There are 33 pictures in total.