In front of a raucous American Airlines Center crowd, the Mavs channeled that anger into on-court production en route to a 113-86 win to force a winner-take-all Game 7 on Sunday (start time TBD). The home team has won every game in this series.
As is usually the case, Luka Doncic led the Mavs with 33 points, 11 rebounds and 8 assists on 11-of-26 shooting from the field, including 9-of-14 from the free-throw line. Doncic also turned it up on the defensive end of the floor as well, tallying four steals.
"Everybody acting tough when they up," Doncic yelled as he walked off the floor in Game 5 after being mocked by Devin Booker. In contrast to Doncic's words, the Suns weren't acting nearly as tough in Dallas on Thursday night.
“I don’t care about stats if we win. If we win, I am good,” said Doncic. “Statistics don’t really matter to me, but if we win it is going to be amazing. We have another game. We won this game on the defensive end, and now we have another game. It is fun.
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“It’s the playoffs, and we are going to give our everything.”
Doncic was joined by Jalen Brunson, Reggie Bullock and Spencer Dinwiddie as the only Mavericks to score in double figures. Brusnon finished with 18 points and three steals in 35 minutes. Bullock and Dinwiddie scored 19 and 15 points, respectively.
“First off, credit to the fans. They brought amazing energy tonight,” said Brunson. “We responded with great energy. We just stayed focused, we stayed focus for the entire game knowing that they are capable of getting going at any time. Just kept applying pressure and now it’s over so now we need to figure out how to still win in Phoenix.”
We wrote about how the Mavs needed a big game from Dinwiddie after he'd been mostly absent for the better part of this series, and they got it, as he shot 5-7 from deep. Perhaps Dinwiddie and the rest of the Mavs' role players can find a way to take their momentum on the road for just one game.
DeAndre Ayton led the Suns with 21 points and 11 rebounds on 10-16 shooting. Devin Booker wasn't far behind him with 19 points, although he committed eight turnovers and only shot 6-17 on the night, including 0-4 from deep. Bullock and Dorian Finney-Smith did a fantastic job on Booker defensively thought out the night.
The Suns committed 22 turnovers in Game 6, which is the most they've had in one game this entire season. Dallas also held Phoenix to 39.7 percent shooting as a team, including 33.3 percent from deep. The Mavs, on the other hand, shot 45.5 percent overall, including 41 percent from deep.
Now, after what has been a hard-fought series from the start, the Mavs will have a chance to move on to the Western Conference Finals if they can find a way to muster up the first road win in the series. Anything can happen when you have the best player on the floor. Let's see what Doncic and the rest of the Mavs can do in this series finale.