DALLAS ( Associated Press) — Luka Doncic scored 26 points and the Dallas Mavericks took advantage of a foul for Chris Paul to beat the Phoenix Suns 111-101 on Sunday, 2-2 in the evening’s Western Conference semifinal series.
Paul was out of Game 4 at the start of the fourth quarter, a period when he often dominated the Mavericks during an 11-game winning streak that ended with consecutive home wins for Dallas. Game 5 is Tuesday night in Phoenix.
Dorian Finney-Smith scored his most 3-pointers, a playoff career-high 24 points in the regular season or playoffs. He was 8 out of 12 from the deep, including 3 consecutive s for a 14-point lead from fourth to middle.
Dallas matched her 20 3s (20 of 44) to the Los Angeles Lakers’ Mother’s Day route in 2011, a victory that was completed on a four-game sweep in the second round on the way to the championship. The Mavericks are playing ahead of the first round for the first time since.
Devin Booker scored 35 points for the Suns, who, like last year’s NBA Finals, dropped two straight down the road to a 2-0 lead. Milwaukee won the last four to win the title. Top-seeded Phoenix lost in the playoffs for the first time in a row.
Turnover was the story in Dallas’s Game 3 win with Paul, when the 37-year-old did the most for his playoff career with seven in any half before halftime.
This time it was a foul, and it started when coach Monty Williams brought him back into the game with a three in the last minute of the first half. Paul picked up his fourth just before the halftime buzzer when he tried to rebound his own miss and hit Doncic.
With just 2 1/2 minutes into the second half, Williams had no choice but to use her challenge when Paul stopped and Paul began to bring the ball to the court. The fifth foul was upheld on review.
Sixth also came up against Brunson a minute and a half after Paul returned in fourth. Paul finished with five points.
Booker held the Sons off in the fourth quarter despite a long stretch without his backcourt partner, but Doncic eventually wore them out with post-ups and other drives for buckets or assists. He had 11 assistants.
Official James Williams called up three technical players in the first half. The first was on Doncic, who couldn’t believe there was no call when Ayton crushed him and Jay Crowder threw him on the floor in the same sequence. Doncic even had words for Williams before he got the technology.
Booker got one to put his elbow up in Dwight Powell’s face when he jumped into Powell after falling to a Dallas center for a pump fake. Powell took the third wicket after being called for an offensive foul on the rebound.
Sons: Crowder kept Phoenix early when the Mavericks were shooting better than 60% from 3, hitting a couple from deep. He finished with 15. Deandre Ayton had 14 points and 11 rebounds.
Mavericks: Finney-Smith’s five 3s in the first half were the most in any half of his career, the regular season, or the playoffs. … Brunson scored 18 points. Davis Burtons started 4 out of 3 and finished with 12 points.
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