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Davis Bertans 'On Fire' As Mavs Even Series

The Dallas Mavs second unit outscored their Phoenix Suns counterparts 36-26 in Game 4.
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Davis Bertans doesn’t have any illusions when it comes to his role.

He shoots. And shoots. And shoots.

That’s exactly what the “Latvian Laser” did in Game 4 of the Western Conference semifinals Sunday afternoon. Coming off the bench, Bertans gave the Dallas Mavericks a first-half burst by nailing his first four 3-pointers.

“I got good looks and made them,” said Bertans, tying a career-playoff best for triples made. “That’s it. Of course, it feels good, but at the same time everyone knows that’s what I do.”

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Bertans’ 12 points were part of a bigger bench brigade, as the Mavs evened the series 2-2 against the top-seeded Phoenix Suns with the 111-101 victory on Mother’s Day.

Game 5 is Tuesday night in Phoenix.

Maxi Kleber added 11 points and seven rebounds off the bench, while Spencer Dinwiddie contributed 10 points, four rebounds and four assists. Little-used reserve Frank Ntilikina gave the Mavs nine quality minutes and hit a critical 3-pointer in the fourth quarter.

Having three off the second unit score in double figures is huge, especially in a series where Luka Doncic can use all the help he can get.

“We talked about Spencer getting to the basket, making shots,” Mavs coach Jason Kidd said. “Maxi’s been Maxi in this series. When you look at Frank, he made some big plays for us, too, being able not just to play defense but being able to capitalize. Davis was on fire.

“This time of the year, it’s always someone that you don’t talk about that can give you the lift and Davis was that for us this afternoon; being able to knock those 3s down in the first half and his energy there on both ends. He plays at a very high level for us and he was great. The bench was big – it was a great team win.”

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Bertans did his damage in only 13 minutes of work. His first-half spurt, which had to be demoralizing for the Suns, helped Dallas take a 68-56 lead into the locker room.

Of the 36 points scored off the Dallas bench, 24 came off shots beyond the arc on 8-14 shooting. Phoenix backups scored 26 points.

After the Mavs struggled to get Doncic any meaningful help in Phoenix, the difference in bench production in Game 4 wasn’t lost on Bertans.

“That is always a big deal every game, not just the playoffs,” he said. “You have the guys bailing out the starters. Very often that boost comes when the team is leading, and the second unit comes in and lifts the team up even more. That just gives more confidence to the team and the starters for the rest of the game.”