Sixers, Mavs same fight. Like their East counterparts against the Heat, the Texans were forced to win this third game against the Suns to restart their series. Mission accomplished for Jason Kidd and his forces who demonstrated their control, controlling the vast majority of the game, despite concerns about personal fouls from Luka Doncic.
If Devin Booker started his game well with two consecutive award-winning baskets, the Mavs had a better start overall in the first quarter. Having missed his first three shots, Galen Bronson finally started his streak through the circuit finishing sequence before being penalized from afar in the transition. It was also difficult to start (1/7), Luka Doncic had a good idea to distribute to enable his teammates from the start.
Steady in the lead after twelve minutes (29-20), the Texans took advantage of the enemy’s many stray balls, generated by their defense, to maintain their lead into the next quarter, although the title percentages weren’t particularly high. Luka Doncic and Jalen Bronson struggle with their 3-point shot, and have been pestering their opponents under or near the circle. The two men had already scored 30 points between them in the first half (51-44).
The Suns’ revival never really happened. Annoyed by the refereeing decisions (some questionable actually…), Chris Paul Suns, due to a technical error, struggled 8-0 in the first minutes after the break. Fortunately, Jae Crowder had a lucky hand behind the arc or Deandre Ayton kept his offensive rebound activity to a minimum. Not enough to question a gap that widened a bit more (82-67).
Despite creating a ‘match’ zone that paid off at times, the visitors missed opportunities to come back permanently under ten points with the more skilled Chris Paul at the finish and the still effective Ayton Abbey below. Michael Bridges managed to reduce his side to just eight points with a minute to play, but Reggie Bullock’s response from three-pointers was immediate. And Dallas, who led by as many as 18 points, wasn’t shaken.
What to remember
– Suns lost a lot of balls. Chris Paul lost only four balls in his first two matches. That night, he lost nearly twice that, including six in the first half. Embarrassed by the opposing pressure, ‘CP3’ surprisingly lacked clarity, like a super-smooth pass to a teammate, easily blocked by Spencer Dinwiddy who just had to make a counterattack. The captain lost his seven balls, almost as well as the entire opposing team, in … the only first half. Devin Booker also squandered his possessions, so he made twice as many balls as the Mavis lost.
– Attacks on the Mafs department. Michael Bridges signed the only negatives for his team, namely the lack of circular sun protection. The latter was attacked by husband Luka Doncic – Jalen Bronson, embarrassed from afar but well supported by the title on the outskirts of Reggie Bullock, Dorian Finney Smith or Maxi Kleber. With the back duo, the MAFS scored 50 points in the opponent’s racket and conceded only 32 points.
✅ Luka Doncic and Jalen Brusson. The former signed a new complete match by approaching the triple-double. He went out of the title at first, and did well to give confidence to his assistants. The latter grabbed the boat when the Slovenian had to make passes on the bench to manage his personal mistakes. His main support, Jalen Bronson, was expected after the first two failed matches. His reaction has come since then, showing great aggression throughout, scoring more points in this match alone than in the first two games together.
✅ Jay Crowder. Another full match for the winger who was the most skilled, most complete player and top scorer of his team. His title was again significant to penalize Luka Doncic in defence.
⛔ Suns point guards. We’ve already mentioned Chris Paul and the difficulties he faces with “Transitions”. We must also mention the difficulties faced by his replacement Cameron Payne who signed very mediocre entries into play. In particular, the missed ready layup as well as a heavy brick was sent to 3 points during his first pass.
Luka Doncic first imagined whistling in front of Deandre Ayton before he ended up on the ground. From there, in a seated position, he signed one of his 9 evening passes toward Dorian Finney-Smith who cut the circle.
Fourth game: In Dallas, Sunday, May 8, 9:30 p.m.