With their win against the New Orleans Pelicans on Thursday night 115-108, the Phoenix Suns advanced to the second round of the NBA playoffs.
The charge was led by point guard, Chris Paul, who played a historic playoff game to finish off the Pelicans. In Game 5 played in New Orleans, Paul struggled to get it going from the field. He shot 2/8 and finished with only four points. However, Paul put that performance behind him in Game 6 and shot a perfect game from the field finishing with 33 points, making 14 shots on 14 attempts. This set the NBA record for most field goals made without a miss in a playoff game.
“When you win and he does that in a close-out game, that’s special,” said Monty Williams after the game. “When a player like Chris who’s given so much to the game and invested so much to be in positions like that has a night like this, you want to make sure you recognize it.”
With Devin Booker back in the starting lineup after missing Games Three through Five due to a hamstring injury suffered in Game Two, it was Paul who carried the offensive load in Game Six. Booker did not appear limited due to his injury finishing with 13 points in 32 minutes However, looking forward to the second round, the Suns will face off against the fourth-seeded Dallas Mavericks.
The Suns will face off against the fourth-seeded Dallas Mavericks in the second round. The Mavericks also closed out their series against the Utah Jazz on Thursday with a 98-96 victory.
Dallas is looking to upset Phoenix and push their way into the Western Conference Finals for the 1st time since 2011. During the regular season, Phoenix swept the Mavs in their three match-ups.
The Mavs are led by young phenom guard Luka Doncic. Everything offensively is schemed around Doncic, who is able to shoot, attack the rim and play make at very high levels. Along with Doncic, Jalen Brunson and Spencer Dinwiddie played a big part in the Mavs’ series win against the Jazz. With Doncic missing the first three games of the series recovering from a lingering calf strain suffered late in the regular season, the offensive load was placed on their shoulders. They stepped up in these moments, especially Brunson who averaged 32 points in the games Doncic missed.
For the Suns, they match up well against the main scorers for Dallas. With Paul, Booker and Mikal Bridges, these three capable defenders will give the three-headed guard scoring trio of the Mavericks all they can handle. Another thing to look for is that Dallas played very small against Utah. However, if they try to do this, DeAndre Ayton should be able to have his way and take big advantage of his inside scoring, something Utah was not able to do. All in all, it seems like a favorable match-up for the Suns in their pursuit of returning to the Western Conference Finals. Game One is scheduled for Monday in Phoenix.
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