On a day when DFW set a record-high temperature of 97 degrees, the Dallas Mavericks burned the Suns in Phoenix in leading by a record 46 points. And on a night filled with a rare Super Flower Blood Moon, they are headed for the rarified air of the Western Conference Finals for the first time in 11 years.
Call it Luka Lunacy ...
DONUT 1: DONCIC DOMINATION - In this series, he saved his best for last. Luka scored Dallas' first eight points and controlled the entire game like a men amongst boys in a 123-90 blowout win that wasn't nearly that close.
Said coach Jason Kidd: "A lot of people said this would be a blowout. Well, they were right ...''
Yeah. But wrong. Thanks to Luka.
He beat Chris Paul off the dribble. He backed down Deandre Ayton in the lane. He laughed at heckling fans in the first row. And, oh yeah, he made step-back 3-pointers in the mug of any Sun who dared to guard him. In the end, Doncic - who finished fifth in MVP voting - finished with 35 points and 10 rebounds in only 30 minutes of one the most stunning big-game performances ever by a DFW athlete.
DONUT 2: JUST JAW-DROPPING - When Reggie Bullock took a cross-court assist from Dorian Finney-Smith and swished a corner 3-pointer early in the third quarter, the score was Mavs 75, Suns 34. In a Game 7, mind you. Never in a gazillion years would we - nor you - have predicted that. Still looks like a typo. Or maybe a score on NBA2K.
Dirk & Luka
DONUT 3: SUN. DOWN. - The Suns won 64 games. They were 32-9 at home. They breezed to won the first three games of this series in Phoenix, building leads of 20+ points in each victory. But Sunday night they were bamboozled by the Mavs and by booed by their own fans.
DONUT 4: SPURNED SPECTATORS - Just wondering if Rick Carlisle and Kristaps Porzingis were watching this Game 7. Or perhaps they're still on vacations that started long ago?
DONUT 5: LUKA LUNACY - After 24 minutes the score was Doncic 27, Suns 27. Luka's teammates chipped in another 30 for a shocking 57-27 lead. Gotta be the most satisfying Mavs first half since they built a NBA-record 50-point halftime lead on the Clippers in Los Angeles on Dec. 27, 2020.
Doncic and Spencer Dinwiddie are the first pair of teammates to each have 20 points in a half in Game 7 since Patrick Ewing and Allan Houston 1997 for the Knicks. Luka has played in two Game 7s, scoring 46 and 35 points.
DONUT 6: CHILD'S PLAY - Whatever doubts we had about Jason Kidd's coaching acumen were erased in this series.
Mavs Trade for Kings’ 2nd-Round Pick, Draft Talented G League Guard
The Mavs traded back into the draft as expected.
NBA Draft: Mavs Christian Wood Trade Expanded to 4-Team Deal
It's a domino effect on the Wood trade that was agreed on last week.
Kyrie Irving Has Mavs on Sign-and-Trade Wish List to Join Luka Doncic?
If the Mavs decide they don’t want to meet Jalen Brunson’s price point on a contract extension, perhaps they could take a chance on Kyrie Irving.
In Game 7 the Mavs doubled-teamed Booker and worked over Paul on defense. On offense, the Mavs played at their pace, creating mismatches via high pick-and-rolls and then milking the shot clock before allowing Doncic or Dinwiddie to make plays off the dribble for themselves or open teammates.
It was truly beautiful basketball.
DONUT 7: BATMAN'S ROBIN - Luka only needed a little help, and he got it from Dinwiddie. The super-sub's best game of the series featured 30 points on only 15 shots. At one point in the first half Doncic and Dinwiddie were outscoring the Suns by themselves, 39-25.
DONUT 8: STRANGE, SWEEET SERIES - For a series that went seven games, there was relatively zero late-game drama. The final margins: 7, 20, 9, 10, 30, 27, 33. After losing Game 5 by 30 points, the Mavs outscored Phoenix in Games 6-7 by a combined 60.
DONUT 9: HOLD ON TO YOUR HATS - And, the lead. As dominant as Dallas was in building its unfathomable 30-point halftime lead and pushing it to 38 early in the third, there was precedent to be, yeah, nervous. On Dec. 6, 2002 the Mavs took a 27-point lead - 88-61 - into the fourth quarter in L.A. and wound up losing to the Shaq-Kobe Lakers, 105-103.
35 points in 3 Quarters
DONUT 10: DEFYING THE ODDS - The Mavs overcame a 2-0 deficit to win the series, which is something NBA teams do only 7.6 percent of the time. The last time they turned that trick was 2005 when they won Game 7 by 40 points. ... They also won a Game 7 on the road, which NBA teams do only 22.3 percent of the time ... In the first round they broke an 11-game losing streak in Salt Lake City. In the second round they broke a nine-game streak in Phoenix.
DONUT 11: GAME 7 HEAVEN - The Mavs are the only DFW team to ever win a Game 7 on the road, and now they've done it twice. The Texas Rangers are 0-1 (2011 World Series, ouch). The Dallas Stars were 0-1 entering their game in Calgary Sunday night. The Cowboys - who play only win-or-go-home games in the NFL Playoffs - have lost eight consecutive postseason road games and haven't won since the 1992 NFC Championship Game.
Before tonight, the last time the Mavs won a decisive Game 7 on the road was May 22, 2006 in San Antonio behind Dirk Nowitzki's 37 points, 15 rebounds and three-point play that forced overtime.
By the way, Dallas' blowout is the most lopsided NBA Game 7 road win since the Philadelphia Warriors over the St. Louis Bombers in 1948.
DONUT 12: WESTERN CONFERENCE FINALS PREVIEW - In the regular season the Mavs won three of four from the Golden State Warriors.
Bring. It. On.