The Phoenix Suns defeated the Dallas Mavericks in Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals Monday night at Footprint Center despite Luka Doncic scoring 45 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists for the Mavs.

Phoenix Suns’ Performance 

Phoenix defended excellently for the most part, although they nearly lost control of the game down the stretch. Dallas managed to get within five points. At the very end, the Mavs tried to foul as much as possible but the Suns scored all their free throws to seal the game. Phoenix finished the night with a perfect 18-for-18 from the foul line. They opened the first quarter with a 9-0 scoring run but got outscored by 10 points in the final quarter.


For the Mavericks. It was really the Doncic show. He was excellent on the night but had trouble getting the same from his teammates. He finished with 45 points, 12 rebounds and 8 assists. Maxi Kleber kept the Mavs within striking distance by draining five 3-pointers for a total of 19 points. Besides Doncic and Kleber, only Dorian Finney-Smith and Jalen Brunson reached double-figures in points for Dallas. Brunson struggled early on but led the Mavericks to a 22-7 scoring run in the fourth quarter. It was too little, too late as Brunson finished the night with 13 points on 6-for-16 shooting from the field.

The Mavs will have to improve their defending if they are to stand a chance of stopping the Phoenix Suns in this series. The over-reliance on Luka can be a gift and a curse. Jason Kidd will have to devise a plan that allows other players to get enough points to make it a more even game. As far as expectations, Luka will continue to lead the offense and his impact is undeniable. He is a high volume scorer with a high IQ. 

The Suns will continue to do what they do best. Spread the scoring and take quality shots. This promises to be an exciting series that could go the distance. Game 2 of this NBA Playoffs series is scheduled for Wednesday, May 4.