Terrible Sunday for last season’s finalists. After the elimination of the Milwaukee Bucks, defending champions, on the floor of the Boston Celtics (109-81), the Phoenix Suns, best team of the regular season and beaten in the final last season, were humiliated at home by the Dallas Mavericks (90-123). Nothing suggested such a scenario given that in the series, the two franchises had not lost at home.
The men of Monty Williams, named coach of the year, did they really have a chance during the game? Seeing the trio of Arizona franchise stars – Devin Booker, Chris Paul and Deandre Ayton – struggle for the entire first half, part of the answer lay there. The three friends, never in rhythm, accumulated a horrible 0 out of 12 in shooting before Ayton, then penalized for his third foul before the break, opened the scoring with an authoritarian dunk.
During this time, the Mavs had attacked the part with their feet on the floor, guided by their Slovenian prodigy Luka Doncic (27 points, 9 rebounds at the break), but also by Spencer Dinwiddie, of formidable efficiency off the bench ( 21 points at the break). At halftime, under boos, the Suns joined the locker room 30 points behind (27-57, 24th), a new season record for the fewest points scored after two key periods (24.4% at the end of the season). shoot).
At halftime, Luka Doncic therefore had as many points (27) as the entire Phoenix team.
The stands empty at the end of the third quarter
Upon returning from the locker room, the Suns did not even manage to blow the slightest wind of revolt. Worse, the gap has continued to climb, reaching 40 points. A first for Booker and his family, who had never been led by such a margin this season.
Even when Luka Doncic was resting on his bench, Dallas was able to find a choice alternative in Jalen Brunson (22 points, 6 rebounds), while Dinwiddie continued his slaughter with three-point shots (30 points, 5 of 7 long distance), magnified by a great address (11 out of 15 in total).
Opposite, Booker (11 points), Paul (10 points) and Ayton (5 points, 4 rebounds) did not save appearances. From the end of the third quarter (50-92, 36th), the local supporters emptied the stands, tired of seeing their team sinking ever deeper.
Chris Paul was playing his eighth Match 7 on Sunday. The 37-year-old leader’s record in this area is negative: 3 wins, 5 losses.
Quite quickly Williams threw in the towel and the two benches emptied for an end to the game without flavor, with the exception of the visitors who could celebrate with their owner Mark Cuban the improbable reversal of the situation. Led 2-0 in the series, here is Dallas in the Western Conference final, a stage of the competition he had not attended since 2011, and the title won by the band from Dirk Nowitzki. They will meet the Golden State Warriors there for a series that no one saw coming, and which by definition is a thrilling announcement.