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Mavs search offensive stability, defensive increase in Game 3 vs. Suns


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In their first-round Western Conference playoff collection win over the Utah Jazz, the Dallas Mavericks allowed simply 99 factors per recreation, holding Utah below 100 factors 3 times.

But the top-seeded Phoenix Suns have been rather more tough to cease, averaging 125 factors in taking a 2-0 lead within the convention semifinals.

If fourth-seeded Dallas is to make Phoenix sweat, it’s going to should tighten up its protection, starting with Game 3 of the seven-game collection on Friday night time in Dallas.

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For starters, the Mavericks might want to pressure harder photographs. The Suns have canned at the very least 50 p.c from the sector in all eight playoff video games, together with a blistering 64.5 p.c Wednesday night time in a 129-109 Game 2 win.

That included a 13 of 25 efficiency from the 3-point line, which upped Phoenix’s efficient subject purpose share over 73 p.c. And within the fourth quarter, which began with the Suns nursing an 89-83 benefit, they had been 16 of 19 from the sector.

“We have good players,” Phoenix coach Monty Williams mentioned. “I’d love to sit here and tell you I’m moving the chess pieces around, but we have good players who can knock down shots.”

Devin Booker scored a team-high 30 for the Suns and Chris Paul added 28, going 6 of seven from the sector for 14 factors within the fourth quarter. Paul and Booker led the best way as Phoenix turned an in depth recreation right into a 122-95 benefit, then coasted to the end line.

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Despite his crew’s lack of ability to string collectively stops constantly, Dallas coach Jason Kidd is pointing the finger on the Mavericks’ imbalance on offense. Luka Doncic scored 45 in Game 1 and 35 extra on Wednesday night time, however there’s not been sufficient assist.

“We got to get other guys shooting the ball better,” Kidd mentioned. “We can’t win with just him scoring 30 a night, not at this time of year. And we’re playing the best team in the league. We got to get other guys going.”

Two guys particularly that Kidd desires to see get off the mark are Jalen Brunson and Spencer Dinwiddie. Those guards, together with forwards Dorian Finney-Smith and Dwight Powell, have mixed to attain fewer factors (66) than Doncic within the first two video games. They even have fewer assists (12) than Doncic (15).

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“We got to get JB and Spencer a rhythm and get them good shots for Game 3,” Kidd mentioned.

It is likely to be honest to surprise if it issues what Dallas does when it performs the Suns. Wednesday night time’s end result was Phoenix’s eleventh consecutive victory over the Mavericks. And it additionally prolonged the Suns’ excellent streak when main after three quarters. They are 52-0 this season, counting the playoffs.

When requested about his huge fourth quarter Wednesday night time, Paul’s phrases might have additionally defined why Phoenix has been such a great closing crew.

“You’ve just got to lean on the work,” he mentioned. “It all goes back to the work. You can’t cheat the game. You’ve got to do the strength and conditioning, you’ve got to lift, you’ve got to get your rest, you got to get your shots up.

“When you do that, you live with the results.”

–Field Level Media

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