Dallas Mavericks upset Phoenix Suns as Milwaukee Buck’s back-to-back dreams dashed by rampant Boston Celtics
Luka Doncic has scored 35 points, Spencer Dinwiddie added 30 and the Dallas Mavericks stunned the top-seeded Phoenix Suns with a 123-90 Game 7 blowout to advance to the Western Conference finals for the first time since 2011.
Dallas broke through on the road after the home team won the first six games of the series. Conversely on Sunday night, it was an embarrassing no-show for the playoff-tested Suns -- who advanced to the NBA Finals last season with a very similar roster.
“A lot of people said it would be a blowout,” Mavs coach Jason Kidd said with a grin.
“They were right.”
The fourth-seeded Mavericks travel to face Golden State in Game 1 on Wednesday.
Doncic earned the Mavs an early lead, making his first three shots, including two three-pointers. That helped Dallas push to a 27-17 advantage in the first quarter and a whopping 57-27 cushion at the halftime break.
“Amazing,” Doncic said.
“I don’t know what to say.”
The series might have been close but the individual games usually were not. Three of the first six were decided by at least 20 points and none of the games came down to the final possession.
Doncic was fantastic, making shots from all over the floor and finishing 12 of 19 from the field, including 6 of 11 threes. He got help from Dinwiddie in the first half with 21 points on 7-of-10 shooting, including 4 of 5 from outside.
Phoenix’s All-Star backcourt of Devin Booker (11 points) and 37-year-old Chris Paul (10 points, four assists) was never a factor.
“You could see some of the pressure was on them early,” Kidd said of the Suns who won an NBA-best 64 games during the regular season.
“They missed some shots they normally make.”
Australia’s Josh Green played the final 5:17 and dropped a triple as the Dallas stars sat.
It’s the second straight year the Suns have lost a playoff series after having a 2-0 lead. They won the first two games against Milwaukee in the NBA Finals last season before losing four straight games.
In Boston, Grant Williams scored a career-high 27 points and hit seven three-pointers, Jayson Tatum added 23 and the Celtics set a Game 7 record with 22 threes to eliminate the NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks 109-81 in East.
“I believe in myself, I believe in this team. I expected to play the way I did and for us to respond the way we did,” Tatum said, referring to losing Game 5 at home and going down 3-2 in the series.
Boston will face top-seeded Miami beginning Tuesday in a rematch of the 2020 East finals, which the Heat won in six games.
The Celtics trailed early at TD Garden but outscored the Bucks 61-38 in the second half to cruise to victory.
“This is what we played for, why we played the season out, to have home-court advantage in a Game 7,” Celtics coach Ime Udoka said.
“If you believe in the basketball gods, those things matter.”
Giannis Antetokounmpo had 25 points, 20 rebounds and nine assists. But he was just 3 of 11 in the paint in the second half, including 1 for 6 the fourth quarter. Jrue Holiday added 21 points and eight assists while Brook Lopez finished with 15 points and 10 rebounds.
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