By the numbers: Inside the Suns’ dismal Game 7 showing vs. Mavericks
In the most important game of the season with a trip to the Western Conference Finals on the line, the Phoenix Suns never showed up on Sunday.
It was all the Dallas Mavericks from the start in Game 7, ending the Suns’ season with a 33-point win.
There isn’t just one thing you could point to as the reason the Suns experienced arguably their worst game of the season at the most important time. Nothing went right for Phoenix.
Here’s a look at what went wrong in Game 7 and why the Suns’ season came to a shocking halt:
At halftime of Game 7, there was a tie at 27 apiece. Being tied at half isn’t a terrible sign, right?
Well, it was 27 points for the Suns, their lowest total in a half all season. That’s not great, but it gets much, much worse.
The other 27 in the equation, came solely from Mavericks star guard Luka Doncic. The Slovenian became the first player in the last 25 postseasons to score as many or more points than the opposing team’s total in a half.
Doncic’s big half made things 57-27 in Dallas’ favor at the break, the biggest halftime lead in any Game 7 in NBA history.
Making the feat even worse for the Suns, only one team in the play-by-play era has erased a 30-point deficit in the playoffs (Clippers down 31 vs. the Warriors on April 15, 2019).
With the Suns facing a 30-point deficit at the half, things didn’t get better for them in the second.
Dallas would go on to win the game 123-90, a 33-point margin.
That made for the second highest win in a series-clinching game against the best team coming out of the regular season in NBA history.
For the largest, you’ll have to go back to 1948 when the Philadelphia Warriors beat the St. Louis Bombers by 39 in the BAA semifinals.
When the Suns needed their star backcourt most, they laid an egg.
Chris Paul and Devin Booker posted a combined plus-minus of -80 when on the court, a recipe for disaster. The duo combined only scored 21 of the Suns’ 90 points.
As for Paul, his -39 was the worst in his tenured NBA career, regular season or postseason.
While the Suns had no answer for Doncic offensively, they couldn’t stop his running mate on Sunday Spencer Dinwiddie, either.
With Doncic’s 35 and Dinwiddie’s 30, the two became the first pair of teammates to each score 30 in a Game 7 since Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant did so in the 2002 Western Conference Finals against the Sacramento Kings.
Doncic and Dinwiddie outscored the Suns starting five 65-37.