Luka Dončić scored 26 points and Dallas Mavericks he took advantage of the inconvenient trouble for Chris Paul to win Phoenix Suns 111-101 on Sunday, the Western Conference semi-final series 2-2.
Paul was out of Game 4 at the start of the fourth quarter, at a time when he often dominated the Mavericks over a series of 11 wins that ended in consecutive Dallas home wins.
The fifth game is played Tuesday night in Phoenix.
Dorian Finney-Smith set a career-high playoff record with 24 points on the most three-pointers he had, a regular season or a playoff. He was 8-for-12 from depth, including consecutive 3s for a 14-point lead in the middle of the fourth.
Dallas equaled its 20 triples (20 of 44) since losing the Los Angeles Lakers on Mother’s Day 2011, a win that ended four games in the second round on its way to winning the NBA Championship. The Mavericks are playing beyond the first round for the first time since.
Devin Booker scored 35 points for the Suns, which are two consecutive away defeats with a 2-0 lead just like in last year’s NBA Finals. Milwaukee won the last four for the title.
The first Phoenix holder lost consecutive games for the first time in the playoffs.
The twists and turns were the story with Paul in Dallas ’win of Game 3, when the 37-year-old had the most in any half of his playoff career with seven before the half.
This time there were fouls, and it started when coach Monty Williams brought him back into the game with three in the last minute of the first half. Paul picked up his fourth just before halftime when he tried to repel his own miss and hit Doncic.
Just two and a half minutes into the second half, Williams had no choice but to take advantage of his challenge when Paul stopped and backed away from Jalen Brunson as Paul began to bring the ball into the field. The fifth violation was confirmed during the audit.
The sixth also came against Brunson just a minute and a half after Paul came back in the fourth. Paul finished with five points.
Booker kept the Suns close to the fourth quarter despite long stocks without his teammate from the backfield, but Doncic eventually knocked down Phoenix with post-ups and other attacks for baskets or assists. He had 11 assists.
Reported by the Associated Press.
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