Posts Tagged ‘Dallas Mavericks’

The Dallas Mavericks have agreed to a three-year, $20.1-million pact with free-agent center JaVale McGee, sources told The Athletic’s Shams Charania.

McGee’s new contract will reportedly contain a player option in the final season.

The Olympic gold medalist and three-time NBA champion spent 2021-22 with the Phoenix Suns, averaging 9.2 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 1.1 blocks per game, mostly in a reserve role. In 12 playoff games, McGee registered just 6.8 points and four rebounds per contest but led all postseason performers with a 70% field-goal percentage.

The 34-year-old will be playing in his 15th NBA campaign in 2022-23.

The Houston Rockets are finalizing a deal to trade big man Christian Wood to the Dallas Mavericks, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania.

The Mavericks will send Boban MarjanovicSterling BrownTrey BurkeMarquese Chriss, and the No. 26 pick in the upcoming draft to the Rockets for Wood, Charania reports.

The 26-year-old averaged 17.9 points, 10.1 rebounds, 2.3 assists, and a block in 68 games for Houston last season.

The Rockets were looking to move Wood to open up playing time for 19-year-old big man Alperen SengunESPN’s Tim MacMahon reports.

The Rockets now have three first-rounders in next week’s draft, including the No. 3 and No. 17 selections.

Wood is entering the last year of a three-year, $41-million contract he signed in 2020. The UNLV product had a breakout season with the Detroit Pistons in 2019-2020, averaging 13.1 points in 62 games after previously playing a combined 72 contests over three seasons.

The Mavericks are coming off an unexpected run to the Western Conference finals. Dallas prioritized upgrading the center spot after the team lost in five games to the Golden State Warriors, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Chriss underwent knee surgery Wednesday and is expected to spend the next few months rehabbing, Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes reports.

Dallas has only made three of its own first-round picks since 2015.


The Golden State Warriors are heading back to the NBA Finals for the sixth time in the last eight seasons.

Klay Thompson scored 32 points, including 19 in the first half, to help Golden State eliminate the Dallas Mavericks with a 120-110 Game 5 win at Chase Center on Thursday.

The Mavericks trailed by as many as 25 points and never led in the contest. Luka Doncic led Dallas with 28 points, nine rebounds, and six assists in 40 minutes. Doncic’s 15 third-quarter points helped the Mavs get within 10 entering the fourth quarter, but the Warriors managed to regain momentum in short order en route to a decisive win.

Golden State shot 51.1% from the field and 38.9% on 3-point attempts while connecting on all 16 of its free-throw tries.

The Warriors improve to 21-2 in playoff series under head coach Steve Kerr and 18-0 against Western Conference playoff opponents during his tenure.

Golden State will host Game 1 of the Finals against either the Boston Celtics or Miami Heat on June 2.

 Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks had to wait out a rain delay in the middle of the game and sweat out some tense moments near the end.

Once they had, they were still alive in the Western Conference finals.

Doncic had 30 points and 14 rebounds, and the Mavericks beat Golden State 119-109 in Game 4 on Tuesday night, when there was a 16-minute rain delay at the start of the second half and the Warriors cut a 29-point deficit down to single digits late.

“Just got to finish the game. A win is a win,” said Doncic, who was 10-of-26 shooting and got plenty of help from his supporting cast to avoid being swept.

It was the 10th double-double in his 14 games this postseason for Doncic, who also had nine assists. When he had 40 points in Game 3, Reggie Bullock shot 0 for 10 with seven misses from 3-point range.

Dorian Finney-Smith had 23 points and Bullock added 18 on 6-of-10 shooting — all 3-pointers. Jalen Brunson had 15 points and Maxi Kelber, who was 2-of-14 shooting (all 3s) in the first three games, made two 3s before halftime and was 5-of-6 shooting overall for 13 points.

“Everybody in that locker room felt like we had more basketball to play,” Finney-Smith said. “We just wanted to get the win any way. … Feel like we came out desperate that first half.”

The loss snapped the Warriors’ nine-game winning streak in Western Conference finals games, though they are still firmly in control of this series headed back to California for Game 5 on Thursday night.

“It was almost like an ego win (for Dallas). You come out and really have nothing to lose. So that confidence started early,” Stephen Curry said. “And we really didn’t do nothing to slow it down, and then that’s when the avalanche starts. You tip your hat to them.”

Curry had 20 points and returned to the game with 3:22 left — his first appearance in the fourth quarter — after the Warriors had cut a 29-point deficit to 110-102. But they never got closer even with Curry and other starters returning to the floor.

“Just made the decision to see if we could pull off a miracle, but it wasn’t meant to be,” coach Steve Kerr said. “Dallas was great tonight. They deserved to win. This is the conference finals. This is how it’s supposed to be.”

Doncic then drove for a dunk and Bullock made his sixth 3-pointer.

“I still believe we can win. Swept or not swept, if you lose, you lose,” Doncic said. “Got to go game by game.”

No NBA team has ever come back from a 3-0 deficit to win a series. Only three of the 146 teams to fall in that deep hole have even been able to force a seventh game.

The Mavericks have been swept in a best-of-seven only once in their 34 such series. That was against Oklahoma City in the first round of the 2012 playoffs, after Dallas won its only NBA title the previous season.

Rain leaking through the roof at American Airlines Center caused the delay after halftime. There was heavy rain outside, and there were at least two leaks. One was dropping water near the Golden State bench, and at the other end of the court water appeared to be falling in the stands.

It was the second such delay this season in the 21-year-old building. The start of a March 21 game against Minnesota was delayed 15 minutes because of water dripping near the visitors bench.

Dallas went ahead to stay with a 25-6 run over a nearly 7-minute span of the second quarter during which the Warriors missed nine of 10 shots and had two turnovers.

Golden State was up 31-29 after a jumper by Moses Moody, then had only one made basket the next seven minutes. A 3-pointer by Davis Bertans put the Mavericks in the lead for good.

The Mavericks had a 62-47 halftime after Doncic drove for a hard layup, responding to Curry’s basket at the other end.

MOMENT OF SILENCE

A moment of silence just before tipoff came hours after an 18-year-old gunman opened fire at a Texas elementary school about 375 miles away in Uvalde, Texas, which is west of San Antonio in the southern part of the state. The moment also recognized a teacher-coach from Palestine, Texas, who was killed when his car was hit by a wrong-way driver when driving the just more than 100 miles home from Game 3 on Sunday night. Two students with him were injured.

CURRY’S 100th 20

Curry had his 100th career 20-point playoff game. He is only the 16th player to accomplish that. All others ahead of him are either in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, are still active players, or are retired and not yet eligible for Hall induction — such as Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki.

PORTER OUT

The Warriors were without Otto Porter Jr., who averaged 10.5 points on 82% shooting the first two games before leaving Game 3 because of a sore left foot. He didn’t dress Tuesday.

STOPPING SHORT

Draymond Green went to the free throw line midway through the third quarter. His first attempt stopped on the wide back side of the rim. After Doncic and Green stood in the lane together laughing about that, the ball was eventually knocked down. Green then missed the second attempt as well, and rebounded by Doncic.

Stephen Curry scored 31 points, Andrew Wiggins added 27 while posterizing Luka Doncic on a dunk and the Golden State Warriors beat the Dallas Mavericks 109-100 Sunday night for a 3-0 lead in the Western Conference finals.

Klay Thompson scored 19 with a pair of big fourth-quarter 3-pointers as the Warriors moved within a victory of a return to the NBA Finals, three years after the end of a run of five consecutive trips that yielded three championships.

Golden State, which swept Portland in its most recent West finals in 2019 before Toronto won the title, goes for the sweep in Game 4 on Tuesday in Dallas. No team has rallied from 3-0 down to win an NBA playoff series.

Doncic scored 40 and beat the first-quarter buzzer with a 32-footer that got the crowd going with the Mavericks again at home trailing 2-0, as they did against top-seeded Phoenix before winning the West semifinal series in seven games.

But that shimmy-inducing bucket was a blip on an otherwise rough night from 3-point range for the Mavericks, who missed their first seven and finished 13 of 45.

Reggie Bullock and Maxi Kleber, two long-range specialists for Dallas, missed all 12 of their 3s combined and were 0-15 overall. Both went scoreless, offsetting Spencer Dinwiddie’s 26 points off the bench. Jalen Brunson scored 20.

Wiggins’ dunk over Doncic was originally ruled an offensive foul midway through the fourth quarter. The Warriors challenged, and the ruling was Wiggins’ elbow to Doncic was incidental contact, giving Golden State a 93-83 lead.

About a minute later, Wiggins, who had 11 rebounds, moved quickly down the right baseline for a follow dunk on a miss by Curry as the Warriors extended their NBA record with a 26th consecutive series in which they won at least one road game.

One of Dinwiddie’s 3-pointers got Dallas within five points with 1:15 remaining, but Jordan Poole answered with one from the left wing just inside the final minute.

WHAT JUST HAPPENED?

The most tense moment of the series came late in the first half after a corner 3 from Curry capped an 8-0 run that put the Warriors in front by a point and helped them to a 48-47 halftime lead. And it left Curry confused.

Curry ran the length of the court with his tongue hanging out after Dallas called timeout. As he circled back toward his bench, Curry walked by Doncic with teammate Juan Toscano-Anderson nearby.

Doncic appeared to take issue with something Toscano-Anderson said and started toward the Golden State bench before officials along with coaches and players from both teams intervened. Meantime, Draymond Green and injured Dallas guard Tim Hardaway Jr. exchanged unpleasantries about 45 feet apart.

After the timeout, Curry could been seen saying, “What happened?” and approached Doncic to talk about it. The exchange ended with Green as the peacemaker with Doncic.

TIP-INS

Warriors: Green got a technical foul, his second of the series, after an extended conversation with official Marc Davis when he was called for a backcourt violation when he hurriedly tried to step back over the midcourt line to catch a long, unexpected pass from Curry. The crowd was howling for a technical and finally got it. Seconds later, Green was called for his first foul and didn’t like the call. But he directed his complaint at his own bench instead of the officiating crew. … Otto Porter Jr., who averaged 10.5 points on 82% shooting the first two games, limped to the locker room in the first half and was ruled out with left foot soreness.

Mavericks: Bullock won the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar social justice award. He has been active in the LGBTQ+ community. His sister, a transgender woman, was killed in 2014. Bullock worked with several organizations in the Dallas area after signing as a free agent in the offseason and has long been active in similar pursuits in his native North Carolina. … Dorian Finney-Smith got a technical early in the second half for an elbow to the back of Green after a made Dallas free throw.

Luka Doncic was dominating, yelling in celebration and flexing his arms in Stephen Curry’s house.

Then Curry and the Golden State Warriors delivered one of those signature third-quarter flurries that have defined so many of their postseason runs — with this one being sparked by Kevon Looney.

Just like that, they’re two wins away from getting back to another NBA Finals.

Curry scored 32 points with six 3-pointers and eight more rebounds, Looney had a career-high 21 points and 12 rebounds and the Warriors rallied past the Dallas Mavericks 126-117 on Friday for a 2-0 lead in the Western Conference finals.

“I feel honored just to be a part of the ride,” Looney said.

Doncic scored 42 points and the Mavericks led most of the way before the Warriors took their first lead of the night on Otto Porter Jr.’s 3-pointer 18 seconds into the fourth.

Doncic had 18 points in the first quarter — two shy of his 20-point Game 1 total. His 3-pointer with 13 seconds before halftime — the Mavs’ 15th of the first half — made it 72-58 at the break and gave him 24 points.

“Against someone that good you’re just trying to limit some of the easy stuff,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said.

Doncic even got a Twitter shoutout from Oakland’s own MC Hammer: “Ok young Luka … We see you.”

But Golden State answered with a 25-13 third quarter to pull to 85-83 going into fourth — coming out of halftime with a performance reminiscent of those thrilling third quarters of past.

“We know how good they are as a third-quarter team,” Dallas forward Reggie Bullock said. “It’s just something that slipped away from us as the game continued to go on.”

Doncic shot 12 for 23 and shined in a game of brilliant shotmaking — the Warriors finished 56.1% from the floor. In the first half alone, Dallas edged Golden State 52.3% to 51.2%, including a remarkable 55.6% to 53.3% from 3-point range.

The series shifts to Dallas for Game 3 on Sunday. Golden State is two wins from a return to the NBA Finals for the first time since making five straight trips from 2015-19.

“We’re on the road against one of the best teams in the league. It happens. They held serve,” Mavs coach Jason Kidd said. “We’ve seen this in Phoenix so now we have to go back and just focus on Game 3.”

Jordan Poole scored 23 points off the bench, Andrew Wiggins had 16 and Klay Thompson — held scoreless in the first half of the series opener — added 15 points for a second straight game. Golden State scored 62 points in the paint.

Jalen Brunson scored eight of the first 14 Dallas points on the way to 31. The Mavericks didn’t have to see as much of Draymond Green, who picked up his fifth foul with 6:01 left in the third, then returned with 6:33 left before fouling out with 2:25 to go.

The teams tangled with 8:03 left in the second quarter in front of the Dallas bench. Warriors reserve Damion Lee closed out as Davis Bertans hit a 3-pointer from the corner and Bertans tripped Lee and sent him in a flip hard to the floor. Lee had to be held back by official Eric Lewis.

The players were issued double technicals.

In Game 1 two days earlier, Doncic faced smothering defense from Wiggins and shot just 6 for 18 and 3 of 10 from deep. Kidd expected a far better outing in Game 2.

Golden State continued to push the pace and committed 16 turnovers after 15 in the opener.

RELIABLE LOONEY

Moved back into the starting lineup for the clinching Game 6 of the semifinals against Memphis, Looney shot 10 for 14 after making all five of his field goals in Game 1.

He notched his second career postseason double-double.

“Tonight was my night to make a big difference and I just stepped up,” Looney said.

TIP-INS

Mavericks: Dallas led by as many as 16 in the opening quarter. … The Mavs were outrebounded again at 43-30 after a 51-35 disadvantage in Game 1. They committed one fewer turnovers with 12 after Doncic had seven in the series opener. “We’ve got to take care of the ball because the Warriors once you turn the ball over, they’re gone, and a lot of times it’s an open 3,” Kidd said beforehand.

Warriors: G Gary Payton II — who broke his left elbow on a hard foul when Memphis star Dillon Brooks clobbered him May 3 on a fast break for a Flagrant 2, ejection and one-game suspension — is doing light individual work on court that includes shooting with his non-dominant right hand and will be re-evaluated in a week. … F Andre Iguodala missed his ninth straight game with a disc injury in his neck is continuing his rehab with physical therapy and training in the weight room with some light on-court work. The Warriors said they will provide an update when he’s cleared to practice. … Golden State improved to 8-0 at home this postseason and is 18-5 in Game 2s dating to the 2015 title run. … Green was voted to the NBA All-Defensive Second Team.

QUOTABLE

“Steph is the best-conditioned athlete in this game, he never stops moving.” — Kidd

Once Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson slowed down, caught their breath and stopped rushing shots, the Splash Brothers got on a roll that proved too much for Dallas to stop.

Especially because Andrew Wiggins worked end to end to make sure Luka Doncic couldn’t get going.

Curry had 21 points and a game-high 12 rebounds, Golden State held Doncic in check and the Warriors beat the Mavericks 112-87 on Wednesday night for a 1-0 lead in the Western Conference finals.

“Just make him work, that was the main thing,” Wiggins said.

Doncic scored 20 points but shot just 6 for 18 and 3 of 10 from deep. He made back-to-back 3-pointers late in the first half to get his team within 54-45 at the break, but Curry and Thompson heated up and helped the Warriors pull away in the second half.

“A great job. That’s it,” Doncic said. “They did a great job.”

Jalen Brunson scored 14 points but missed all five of his 3s for the surprising Mavs, who stunned the top-seeded Suns in a 123-90 thumping in Game 7 on Sunday in Phoenix.

Game 2 in the best-of-seven series is Friday night at Chase Center, where the raucous, yellow-clad sellout crowd brought back memories of that 2007 “We Believe” Warriors playoff team led by Baron Davis that shocked the No. 1-seeded Mavericks in a six-game first-round upset at Oracle Arena.

That helped propel Golden State back to prominence. The Warriors reached five straight NBA Finals from 2015-19 but missed the playoffs the past two years before this run.

Wiggins added 19 points, getting Golden State going by making six of his first eight shots on the way to shooting 8 for 17. Jordan Poole also scored 19 off the bench.

Doncic received a scratch across his face early from a first-quarter swipe by Wiggins. The mark — “makes me look tough,” he quipped — went from the bridge of the star guard’s nose across his right cheek under the eye. Doncic also tugged at his troublesome right shoulder that has been taped previously during these playoffs.

“They did a really good job. Wiggins picking him up full court,” Mavs coach Jason Kidd said. “They went box-and-one, they went zone. We understood coming into the series that we were going to see that. We’ll go back and look at the video and see what we can do better.”

Stopping Doncic, who was averaging 31.5 points in the playoffs, is the tall task this time after the Warriors already handled two-time reigning MVP Nikola Jokic of Denver in the first round, then Ja Morant early last series before his knee injury.

“I thought Wiggs was fantastic,” coach Steve Kerr said. “Doncic is as difficult a cover as there is in this league. … It’s important to make him work. He’s so good. Any great player in the league you’re trying to limit the damage that they do.”

Curry hit two quick 3s in sparking a 10-2 burst to begin the third for a Golden State squad that eliminated Memphis in a six-game semifinal series. Thompson scored all of his 15 points after halftime.

“I didn’t have a field goal in the first half but that will never discourage me,” Thompson said. “I will always hunt my shot.”

Curry, last season’s scoring champ, missed his initial five 3-point tries before connecting with 50 seconds left in the first half. But he got involved other ways by dishing out four assists and grabbing seven rebounds in the first half.

The last time he led the Warriors in rebounding in a playoff game was Game 3 at Toronto in 2019, when he had eight.

Kevon Looney remained in the starting lineup for Kerr as the coach made his return to the bench after sitting out the final three games against Memphis with COVID-19.

“It was great to be back. I missed being out there with the guys,” Kerr said. “Amazing atmosphere here at Chase and we’re excited to keep going.”

Looney finished with 10 points, five rebounds and four assists after coming in to start the Game 6 clincher against the Grizzlies.

Kidd’s Mavericks couldn’t keep up in a drastic contrast of styles featuring the slow-paced Dallas attack and up-tempo Warriors.

“We would like to play our pace but the Warriors have a unique pace, they’re going to get out and put a lot of pressure on your defense in transition,” Kidd said. “We have to be cautious of that. We don’t want a track meet.”

MAVS FINED

Dallas received a $50,000 fine by the NBA — the team’s second penalty this postseason — for “team bench decorum” during the Suns series after players and a member of the coaching staff remained standing for extended time far enough from the bench area that they were “encroaching upon the playing court during game action” during Game 7 against the Suns.

“Just trying to figure out what we did wrong to get the fine,” Kidd said. “… Who complained? It was a blowout so I don’t think the fans were complaining. I thought the guys did what they were supposed to do. They were cheering on their guys.”

The previous fine against the Mavs was for $25,000 on May 6.

TIP-INS

Mavericks: Reggie Bullock shot just 4 for 12 — 3 of 10 from long range — for 12 points. Dallas was 11 of 48 behind the arc. … The Mavericks were outrebounded 28-18 in the first half as Curry led all players with seven.

Warriors: F Otto Porter Jr. returned after missing Game 6 with soreness in his right foot and contributed 10 points and six rebounds in 23 minutes, one of seven Warriors to score in double figures. … Golden State, which averaged 19.2 turnovers per game last series, had six in the first half leading to 11 Dallas points and 15 overall. … Golden State improved to 7-0 at home this postseason. … The Warriors are 21-2 in Game 1s since their 2015 title run that ended with the franchise’s first championship in 40 years. …

It was no surprise when Luka Doncic looked ready for Game 7, calmly draining his first three shots to give the Dallas Mavericks an early lead.

The stunner came over the next two hours: The top-seeded Phoenix Suns had no response.

Doncic scored 35 points, Spencer Dinwiddie added 30 and the Mavericks blitzed the Suns with a 123-90 knockout Sunday night, advancing to the Western Conference finals for the first time since 2011.

“A lot of people said it would be a blowout,” Mavs coach Jason Kidd said with a grin. ”They were right.”

Of course, it wasn’t Dallas that was supposed to win on Sunday. The home team won the first six games of the series, but the Mavs broke through, dominating in a hostile environment from start to finish. Conversely, it was an embarrassing no-show for the playoff-tested Suns — who advanced to the NBA Finals last season with a very similar roster.

The fourth-seeded Mavericks travel to face Golden State in Game 1 on Wednesday.

“Amazing,” Doncic said. “I don’t know what to say.”

Doncic earned the Mavs an early lead, making his first three shots, including two 3-pointers. That helped Dallas push to a 27-17 advantage in the first quarter and a whopping 57-27 cushion at the halftime break.

Doncic and Dinwiddie, who came off the bench, combined to pour in 48 of the Mavericks’ 57 points. Doncic’s 27 points in the first half matched the Suns’ team total.

Game 7 drama? Not in the desert.

Simply put, the Suns looked overwhelmed by the pressure of a Game 7. They missed shots they usually make, made bad passes they usually don’t make and looked nothing like the team that won an NBA-best 64 games during the regular season.

By halftime, many Suns fans were booing at the unsightly display.

The series might have been close but the individual games usually were not. Three of the first six games were decided by at least 20 points and none of the games came down to the final possession.

Game 7 followed a similar pattern, except the team doing all the damage was the road team. Doncic was fantastic, making shots from all over the floor and finishing 12 of 19 from the field, including 6 of 11 on 3s. He also got some help: Dinwiddie was fantastic in the first half with 21 points on 7-of-10 shooting, including 4 of 5 from 3-point range.

Meanwhile, Phoenix’s All-Star backcourt of Chris Paul and Devin Booker was never a factor. The 37-year-old Paul is a 12-time All-Star that has done just about everything possible in the game except win a championship.

After this setback, it’s fair to wonder if there will be many more opportunities. Booker finished with 11 points and shot 3 of 14. Paul had 10 points and four assists. The Suns shot just 37.9% from the field.

“You could see some of the pressure was on them early,” Kidd said. “They missed some shots they normally make.”

Dallas beat the odds with the win: After the Celtics defeated the Bucks earlier Sunday, the home team was 110-33 (77%) in NBA Game 7s.

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 the Bucks in the NBA Finals last season before losing four straight games.

TIP-INS

Mavericks: Doncic and Dinwiddie were the first teammates to have at least 20 points in a half in Game 7 since Patrick Ewing and Allan Houston did it for the Knicks in 1997, according to ESPN Stats & Info. …

Suns: Phoenix shot just 6 of 23 (26.1%) from the field in the first quarter. … The Suns hosted another sellout crowd at Footprint Center. Celebrities in attendance included baseball great Alex Rodriguez and rapper Lil’ Wayne. … The Suns are the second team in NBA history to win at least 64 games in the regular season and not make the conference finals. The other was the Mavericks in 2007. … Phoenix has still never won a title since coming into the league in 1968.

Luka Doncic has his first victory in an elimination game.

Now the young Dallas superstar gets another one — and another Game 7 to boot.

Doncic scored 33 points and the Mavericks beat the Phoenix Suns 113-86 on Thursday night to force a deciding game in the Western Conference semifinals.

The home team has won all six games, none with a margin closer than seven points. A trip to the West finals will be at stake Sunday in Phoenix.

The Mavericks won when facing elimination for the first time in three tries with the 23-year-old Doncic, their three-time All-Star point guard.

The two losses came against the Clippers the past two seasons, including Game 7 in Los Angeles last year after the visitors won the first six games, a first in the playoffs. Dallas is playing beyond the first round for the first time since winning the title 11 years ago, when first-year coach Jason Kidd was the point guard.

“I don’t know if he was playing as if he was trying to do something different,” Kidd said. “I think he enjoys the moment. You guys have seen a little bit longer than I have up close. He’s not afraid of the stage. I think you guys call it the first time winning an elimination game. He’ll be in this situation a long, long time.”

The Suns, seeking a second consecutive trip to the conference finals, are going the distance in a series for the first time in two postseasons with Chris Paul and Devin Booker. The previous three went six, including Phoenix’s loss to Milwaukee last year in the NBA Finals.

Booker scored 19 points but was shut out from 3-point range (0 of 4) while going 6 of 17. Deandre Ayton had 21 points and 11 rebounds, and Paul added 13 points.

The top-seeded Suns were held to a season low in scoring, regular season or playoffs, for the second time in the series. They shot a playoff-low 40% with 22 turnovers, the most all season.

“I don’t have enough time to talk about everything that’s eating at me,” coach Monty Williams said. “I didn’t think we understood the desperation they were going to play with. Couple that with the turnovers that we had tonight, it’s a recipe for what we just got.”

The 37-year-old Paul is now in line for his eighth Game 7, while the 27-year-old Booker is about to play his first.

“Greatest two words in sports,” Booker said. “I’m excited to feel the energy. I’m excited to be a part of it. It’s a great opportunity.”

Reggie Bullock scored 19 points for Dallas, going 5 of 11 from 3-point range after being held scoreless and getting just five shots total in Game 5. Jalen Brunson added 18, and Spencer Dinwiddie had a series-high 15, all on 3s (5 of 7).

Doncic played through an apparent left leg injury that sent him to the locker room when he would have been out of the game anyway in the second quarter. He returned to the bench and rode a stationary bike before re-entering the game.

Soon after, the Mavericks went on a decisive 19-5 run to finish the first half, turning a two-point lead into a 60-45 halftime edge.

It was a home-team replay of the third quarter from Game 5, when Phoenix went on a 17-0 run for an 18-point lead and ended up winning by 30.

Doncic, who had 11 rebounds and eight assists, fought his shot while fighting the injury early, but had a 3 on the late first-half run and scored 10 in the third to help the Mavericks push their lead to 22 (94-72).

Paul avoided the problems with fouls that cost the Suns in the second loss in Dallas. But he was never much of a factor, getting just seven shots.

Booker was stuck on eight points while Dallas pulled away in the second and third quarters, opening the second half with a miss on an ill-advised 3 and not scoring again until the Suns were down 21 late in the third.

“I think we won this game on the defensive end,” Doncic said. “We’ve got another game. That’s fun. It’s playoffs, and we’re going to give our energy.”

TURNOVER TURNAROUND

Booker’s eight turnovers also were a season high, regular season included. The Phoenix miscues came after Dallas had 12 turnovers in the third quarter of Game 5 while getting outscored 33-14. Paul wasn’t as bad as the seven turnovers in the first half of Game 3, the most he’s ever had in a half in a playoff game. But he had five more in Game 6.

TIP-INS

Suns: Ayton got a technical for elbowing Doncic in the face when Doncic fouled him on a dunk in the third quarter. Doncic missed the technical free throw, and Ayton finished the three-point play. … Bismack Biyombo didn’t have the same impact as the replacement for JaVale McGee, who didn’t play for the first time in the series. Biyombo had four points and three rebounds in 14 minutes.

Mavericks: This was the 10th consecutive time this season the Mavericks have answered a loss of at least 20 points with a victory. The streak is actually 13 games going back to last season, including a playoff win at the Clippers after a 25-point loss at home. … Dallas recovered from a slow start from 3 to finish 16 of 39 (41%). It was another strong night despite the continuing struggles of Doncic, who was 2 of 8 to put him at 7 of 33 over the past four games.

The top-seeded Phoenix Suns looked much more like their old selves on Tuesday night.

All-Star guard Devin Booker said a little time in front of the TV with NBA Coach of the Year Monty Williams did wonders.

“We study film,” Booker said. “Coach is coming in with adjustments, we make them and we follow them.”

Booker scored 28 points, Deandre Ayton added 20 and the Suns pulled away for a lopsided 110-80 win over the Dallas Mavericks to earn a 3-2 lead in the Western Conference semifinals.

The Suns bounced back after dropping the previous two games and can win the series in Game 6 on Thursday in Dallas. It won’t be easy: The home team has won the first five games.

The Suns used a huge third quarter to turn a tight game into a comfortable win. Phoenix opened up the second half on an 11-4 run, highlighted by Booker’s two 3-pointers, for a 61-50 lead.

Mavs coach Jason Kidd called for a timeout, but it did little to stop the onslaught. The Suns led 82-60 going into the fourth with Booker pouring in 12 points during the third.

While the Suns were finally finding some offensive continuity, the Mavs completely lost theirs, scoring just four points in the first six minutes of the third. At times, the Dallas offense regressed to mostly watching Luka Doncic try and work magic, but he couldn’t do it all by himself.

The Mavs had 12 turnovers during the third quarter.

“The defense tonight — that’s the backbone of our program,” said Williams, who was announced as the Coach of the Year on Monday.

Doncic finished with 28 points and 11 rebounds, but acknowledged that the offense bogged down at times. Jalen Brunson added 21 points. The Mavs shot just 38% from the field.

“The one thing we didn’t do great today was our pace,” Doncic said. “In the last two games, our pace was very good. I think they are one of the best defensive teams, if not the best, in the NBA. They held us to 80. That’s pretty impressive. We’ve got to move the ball and have better pace — faster.”

The Suns took a hard-fought 49-46 lead into halftime. Booker scored 16 points on 7-of-11 shooting from the field. Doncic countered with 18 points, though it was a little less efficient after making 7 of 16 shots.

The Mavericks led for a majority of the first half before Booker’s baseline jam tied it at 40-all with 3:47 before halftime. Mikal Bridges had a nifty steal and then scored on a fast-break layup for a 44-42 lead.

BOOK THE BUCKET

Booker now has 804 points in 30 career playoff games.

The 25-year-old is one of just 18 players in NBA history with at least 800 points in his first 30 postseason games.

He joins Anthony Davis, Donovan Mitchell, Kevin Durant, LeBron James, Tracy McGrady, Vince Carter and Allen Iverson, who have all accomplished the feat since 2000.

LATE GAME DRAMA

Phoenix’s Bismack Biyombo and Dallas’ Marquese Chriss were both ejected in the final seconds after exchanging words. TV cameras showed security officials going into the tunnel to make sure the players couldn’t get at each other after leaving the court.

Biyombo played 21 solid minutes for the Suns, adding seven points and six rebounds. Chriss — who was drafted No. 8 overall by the Suns in 2016 and spent two seasons with the franchise — had two points and two rebounds.

HONORING GRINER

Suns point guard Chris Paul came to the arena wearing a shirt that had Phoenix Mercury star Brittney Griner’s picture on the front and her name on the back.

Griner — a seven-time WNBA All-Star — was detained in Russia on Feb. 17 after authorities at the Moscow airport said they found vape cartridges that allegedly contained oil derived from cannabis in her luggage, which could carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. The Biden administration determined Griner is being wrongfully detained. A hearing in a Russian court is set for May 19.

The WNBA and and U.S. officials have worked toward Griner’s release, but have yet to make any headway with the Russian government.

“This isn’t just a NBA or WNBA thing, I think everyone just wants her home,” Paul said.

TIP-INS

Mavericks: Doncic made his first 3-point attempt in Game 5 after a 1-of-10 performance from long range in Game 4. … F Dorian Finney-Smith was called for a flagrant 1 after a hard foul on Booker in the third quarter.

Suns: F Torrey Craig (right elbow contusion) was available to play. … Ayton was called for an offensive foul on the first possession of the game. He missed a big chunk of the first half after picking up two quick fouls. … Williams dropped backup G Cameron Payne from the playing rotation after two ineffective games in Dallas. … The Suns hosted a sellout crowd for a 32nd consecutive game.