The playoffs are underway and the daily preview takes it to the rim with NBA tips for Game 5 of the Semi-final series between Phoenix Suns and Dallas Mavericks.
12:00 (AEST), Wed 11th May @ Footprint Center, Phoenix
History: Played 184: Suns 102 V Mavericks 82
Last meeting: May 9, 2022: Mavericks 111 d Suns 101 at American Airlines Center
Final Thoughts: After
Dallas Mavericks have levelled up their Semi-final series against Phoenix Suns at 2-all with a pair of outstanding home wins after a rugged start. The Suns will be desperate to regain the advantage as the rubber returns to Arizona for a pivotal Game 5 showdown.
The top-seeded Suns chalked up a wire-to-wire 121-114 victory in Game 1 in Phoenix. Deandre Ayton (25 pts, 8 reb) top-scored, while Devin Booker (23 pts, 9 reb, 8 ast) put in a solid night’s work. Luka Doncic was enormous for the Mavs with 45 points 12 rebounds and 8 assists but support was in short supply. Maxi Kleber had five three-pointers off the bench for the visitors.
The Suns dominated the second half of Game 2 to run away 129-109 winners. Devin Booker put up 30 points, while Chris Paul (28 pts, 6 reb, 8 ast) put on a fourth-quarter masterclass with 14 points. Doncic (35 pts, 5 reb, 7 ast) was again a shining light but few other Mavericks shone.
Luka gets back-up, Mavericks bounce back
Returning to Dallas proved just the tonic for the Mavs. After totalling just 22 points in the first two games, Jalen Brunson top-scored with 28 points in a 103-94 Game 4 victory. Meanwhile, Doncic (26 pts, 13 reb, 9 ast) got some much-needed support on defence from Reggie Bullock. Jae Crowder (19 pts, 7 pts, 5 ast) was the Suns’ top scorer as the hosts clamped down on Booker and Paul.
The Mavericks’ shooting came to the fore in a 111-101 Game 4 victory. Dorian Finney-Smith went off for eight threes in a team total of 20 from 44 attempts, backing up another stellar showing from Luka (26 pts, 7 reb, 11 ast, 3 stl). Brunson chipped in with 18 points.
Devin Booker racked up 35 points but none of his teammates managed more than 15 and the Suns shot just 9-of-25 from three-point range. Chris Paul fouled out and finished with just five points in 23 minutes.
The Suns will look to regroup at Footprint Center, where they are 36-10 this season and 4-1 in the playoffs – with their four post-season wins at home coming by seven points or more. The Mavs are 25-21 on the road this season and 2-3 in the playoffs.
The likelihood of Paul being as dreadful as he was last time out is minimal – he’ll be hellbent on making up for that aberration on home court. But Dallas have the momentum, Doncic is on fire and getting belated support. With a hefty start, I’ll take the Mavs against the line in what should be an absolute barnburner.
Best Bet: Handicap – Mavericks +6.5 @ $1.87
Same Game Handicap: Margin – Suns 1-10; Total – Over 213.5; Luka Doncic Points – Under 32.5; Jalen Brunson Points – Over 18.5; Chris Paul Points – Over 16.5; Devin Booker Points – Over 27.5 @ $58.95
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