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Wheels Off The Wagon: Sloppy Mavs Blown Out By Suns in Game 5

As well as the Mavs played in Games 3 and 4 in Dallas, they reverted back to less-than-ideal play in Game 5 as the Suns took a 3-2 series lead.

Heading into Game 5 against the Phoenix Suns in a 2-2 series, the Dallas Mavericks knew they'd have to bring their best effort yet in order to steal a game on the road.

Despite getting off to near-perfect start in the first quarter, the wheels started to fall off the wagon for the Mavs towards the end of the first half, and they never recovered as the Suns went on to capture a 110-80 win and a 3-2 series lead. Dallas will face elimination at home on Thursday in Game 6.

This game was a case of the Mavs just simply not having enough offense, as they shot just 38 percent as a team, including 25 percent from deep. Dallas caused Phoenix to turn the ball over 12 times, but Phoenix turned Dallas over 18 times, including 12 in the third quarter alone.

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There has been a lot of talk from coach Jason Kidd this postseason about Mavericks aside from Luka Doncic "joining the party." That happened in Games 3 and 4, as the Mavs got well-balanced efforts all around. However, Dallas wasn't able to translate that home success to the road, as Mavs players not named Luka Doncic or Jalen Brunson scored just 31 points total.

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Doncic finished the game with a team-high 28 points, 11 rebounds, two assists and three steals in 35 minutes. He shot just 10-23 from the field, including 2-8 from deep and 6-7 from the free-throw line. Although Doncic finished with a decent stat line, you never got the feel that this was going to be a true Doncic masterpiece. He must be even better in Game 6 if the Mavs want to avoid elimination.

Brunson and Davis Bertans joined Doncic as the only other Mavericks to score in double figures. Brunson put up 21 points on 9-17 shooting from the field to go along with seven rebounds. Bertans added 10 points on 3-4 shooting off the bench.

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After fouling out in just 23 minutes in Game 5, Chris Paul was expected to have a big bounce-back game, but he ended up finishing with just seven points on 3-8 shooting. However, Paul did dish out 10 assists and was a +7 in 35 minutes.

Devin Booker led the Suns with 28 points and seven rebounds while shooting 11-20 from the field. Booker and Paul were joined by DeAndre Ayton (20), Mikal Bridges (14) and Cam Johnson (14) in double-digit scoring for Phoenix.

Will the Mavs be able to protect home court like they did in Games 3 and 4 in order to force a Game 7 in Phoenix on Saturday? We won't have to wait long to find out, but one thing is for sure – American Airlines Center will be rowdy as Dallas tries to save its season.