Phoenix Suns 3 Keys to Game 5 Bounce Back Victory vs Dallas Mavericks

Phoenix Suns. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Phoenix Suns. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /
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What the Phoenix Suns thought to be a punching bag in the Dallas Mavericks turned out to be a real sparring partner this past weekend.

After taking it to Luka Doncic and company during the Western Confidence Seminfinals’s first two contests, winning by a combined 27 points, this second round series had all the makings of a one-sided beatdown. That made it all too easy for Suns fans to prematurely break out their brooms and begin quietly uttering the word “sweep” around town.

But those “Suns in Four” chants which rained down across the Footprint Center last week were not echoed back in Dallas, neither was Phoenix’s near-flawless play from Games 1 and 2, as mistakes came by the many at both ends of the floor.

The Suns lost Game 3 to the Mavericks by a 103-94 final score, with Chris Paul, Devin Booker, and Deandre Ayton all failing to score more than 20 points. On the contrary, Jalen Brunson and Doncic combined to score 54.

Although Game 4 brought another distasteful loss onto Phoenix’s doorstep, it happened under alternative circumstances. Struggling to find his groove all game, Paul fouled out early during the fourth period to handicap the Suns in a spot which they normally excel.

At the same time, Dallas unleashed a barrage of 3-pointers, drowning out the Suns from deep with 20 made triples—tied for the most every surrendered by a Phoenix team in a playoff contest. When the dust settled, the scoreboard reflected a 111-101 victory for the Mavericks, and more importantly, a tied up series at two games apiece.

Naturally, the Suns preferred how this series’s first two games went rather than the last two. In flipping that switch, they need to check these three boxes.