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The Mavs Evened Their Series With The Suns Behind A Hot-Shooting Start To Game 4

Game 4 of the Mavs-Suns series was defined by three-point shooting, as Dallas rolled to a 111-101 victory to even the series at 2-2 going back to Phoenix in one of the most impressive shooting displays of the postseason.

Dallas came out hot from the jump, as Dorian Finney-Smith, Davis Bertans, and Spencer Dinwiddie all got rolling from beyond the arc in the first half as the Mavs pumped in 12 three-pointers to take a 12-point lead into halftime.

The other storyline in the game was foul trouble for the Suns, namely Chris Paul, who picked up four first half fouls and was largely ineffective in the game, scoring just five points on 2-of-4 shooting with seven assists in 23 minutes of action. Devin Booker did his best to pick up the pieces, scoring 35 points and holding the Suns in it, but with Cam Payne continuing his postseason struggles, the Suns couldn’t afford Paul to be on the bench as much as he was.

Most of the Mavs did cool off considerably in the second half, starting it 9-of-33 from the field, as Phoenix reeled them in, cutting the lead to as few as four with 1:17 to go in the third, but Dallas was able to find timely buckets to answer every Suns run. In the fourth quarter, Devin Booker did his best to lead the Suns back into the game, giving a strong two-way effort to open the period as Phoenix once again trimmed the Mavs lead to six.

However, Phoenix had to figure out a way to close the game without Paul, who picked up his sixth reaching in on Jalen Brunson on an offensive rebound with nine minutes to play.

While Doncic struggled to find his stroke from the outside, his teammates continued to provide the lift, with Dorian Finney-Smith taking over briefly with back-to-back threes to once again push Dallas to a double-digit advantage, as he finished the night with 24 points, all on three-pointers, as he hit 8-of-12 from deep to give the Mavs a much-needed lift.

While it was a tough shooting night from Doncic, he came up with big plays down the stretch when he committed to creating for his teammates, as Phoenix continuously collapsed on Doncic’s drives and helped off the corners despite the Mavs shooters burying everything from there all night. Reggie Bullock and Jalen Brunson cashed in on corner three opportunities created by Doncic in the closing minutes as Dallas once again opened up a healthy lead in the final four minutes, with the star putting the dagger in with some fancy footwork in the post with just over two minutes to go.

There was plenty of commentary on the officiating during the game from fans of both sides, but the difference was simply Dallas’ lights out shooting. Non-Doncic Mavs went 19-of-34 from three, headlined by Finney-Smith’s night, while the Suns were a solid but unremarkable 9-of-25 from deep. No one other than Booker could really get it going for Phoenix, and that proved to be too much of a burden for the Suns’ star to bear down the stretch, as he could never get them within more than two possessions of the lead.

Now the series shifts back to Phoenix where the Suns looked terrific to open the series and it may simply come down to whether the Mavs’ “others” can be effective away from their home arena. Doncic had 26 points, 11 assists, and seven rebounds in the win, but was a dreadful 1-of-10 from distance and needed the pick-up from his teammates to get this game across the finish line. The Suns have clearly decided they’ll let the Mavs’ role players get open looks off of Doncic’s creation, and in Game 4 that came back to bite them as the Mavs buried shots throughout the night.

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