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Breaking Down Mavs 'Playoff Atmosphere' Win Over Suns: Luka Doncic MVP Statement?

Luka Doncic put on another masterful performance in the Dallas Mavericks' big win over the Phoenix Suns on Thursday night. Our Mavs Step Back Podcast breaks down the game, from Doncic's brilliance, to Kyrie Irving's importance, to P.J. Washington and Daniel Gafford showing their value ... we discuss it all in today's episode.

If Luka Doncic hadn't been taken seriously as a legitimate MVP candidate before the Dallas Mavericks' impressive 123-113 win over the Phoenix Suns on Thursday night, consider Dallas' seventh consecutive victory the official start of his campaign.

Doncic was masterful in the Mavs' win, picking apart the Suns by either getting to the basket at will, knocking down step-back 3s, or passing to open teammates after being double or triple-teamed. The five-time All-Star finished with 41 points, nine rebounds, 11 assists and three steals while shooting 14-27 overall and 6-11 from deep in what felt like a playoff atmosphere at American Airlines Center.

All-star weekend (6)

"Amazing," Doncic said of the run his team is currently on. "We have an amazing team, and seven in a row—it hasn’t happened for a while. I’m really happy with the guys we have on our team.”

On today's episode of the Mavs Step Back Podcast, we provide a full breakdown of the Mavs' win over the Suns, which secured them the regular-season tiebreaker. From Doncic and Kyrie Irving's brilliance, to Daniel Gafford and P.J. Washington continuing to leave their fingerprints on games, to Maxi Kleber making a difference since coming back from his toe injury ... we discuss all of that and much, much more.

After securing their seventh win in a row, the Mavs now head out on a tough, four-game Eastern Conference road trip, starting against former Dallas head coach Rick Carlisle and the Indiana Pacers on Sunday. Can the Mavs keep their streak alive on the road? What record during this upcoming stretch should be considered a success? You can watch today's show below, and be sure to SUBSCRIBE, as well as leave your takes in the comments on YouTube.