There aren’t many other ways to phrase what happened on Tuesday night at Footprint Center — the Dallas Mavericks got straight up punked by the Phoenix Suns in a 110-80 shellacking that put them on the brink of elimination.
During the blowout, the Suns made the most of every opportunity to rub it in the Mavs’ faces.
Devin Booker flopped on what turned into a flagrant foul for Dorian Finney-Smith. After laying face down for an unnecessary amount of time and smirking at Suns fans, Booker uttered the words, “the Luka Doncic special” as he was being helped up by a teammate.
To add insult to injury there, the NBA announced MVP voting results on Wednesday, and Doncic finished fifth, which was one spot behind Booker.
At the end of the game, with the Suns up 28, Phoenix still tried to tack on more points instead of running the clock out, as Bismack Biyombo went up for a dunk with two seconds left.
Mavs reserve big man Marquese Chriss took exception to that and fouled Biyombo hard to prevent the dunk. After exchanging some heated words, both players were quickly ejected, and then security had to redirect Chriss as he followed Biyombo into the Suns’ tunnel.
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“Everybody acting tough when they up,” shouted Doncic as the Mavs walked off the court after the game.
Those words seemed awfully similar to the legendary words of Michael Jordan back in the day when he talked about how some teams and players only talk tough when they’re ahead on the scoreboard.
As dominant as the Suns looked in the second half of Game 5, the Mavs had control for most of the first half as they jumped out to an eight-point lead halfway through the second quarter. The third quarter was where the wheels fell off the wagon, though, as Dallas turned it over 12 times — the amount of turnovers Phoenix had for the entire game.
“That wasn’t ourselves, we have to be better than that,” said Doncic. “We’re okay, we have all the confidence. It’s always nice to play at home with our fans. It’s going to be hard, especially against this team, (but) we gotta believe.”
If there’s one thing we’ve learned about this Mavs’ team this year, it’s that they usually respond well to losses, especially embarrassing ones. Whether the Mavs are able to force a Game 7 in Phoenix or not, you can expect them to come out with some anger and desperation while having an energized home crowd behind them.
The home team has won every game in this series so far. Let’s see if the Mavs can do it one more time to force a winner-take-all showdown in the desert.