After falling in an 0-2 hole, Dallas won four of the next five games to close out the series by humbling Phoenix at home. The Suns were booed during the halftime buzzer, when the 30-point deficit was the greatest in a Game 7 halftime, according to ESPN Stats & Information analysis, as well as throughout the second half.
The Mavericks never trailed and led by as many as 46 points on route to their first appearance in the Western Conference Finals since 2011.
With a 35-point, 10-rebound, four-assist effort in 30 minutes, Doncic, the Mavericks’ 23-year-old wonder, stamped his way to the conference finals for the first time. He sat out the whole fourth quarter because the game was already decided.
“He’s Luka,” Dallas coach Jason Kidd said. “He loves the stage. As it gets bigger, he gets better.”
On the first possession, Doncic took control with a turnaround jumper that gave Dallas the lead for good.
He scored 27 points in the first half, matching Phoenix’s total, and became the first player in at least 25 seasons to match or outscore an opponent in a playoff half.
Spencer Dinwiddie, Dallas’ sixth man, was almost as good, scoring 21 of his playoff career-high 30 points in the first half. It was the first time a pair of teammates scored at least 20 points in a half of a Game 7 since Patrick Ewing and Allan Houston of the New York Knicks did it against the Miami Heat in 1997.
In the first half, the Suns’ superstar combination of Devin Booker, Chris Paul, and Deandre Ayton managed to make only one of their 15 attempts from the field.
Paul, a 37-year-old superstar who had wanted to win a title after falling short in his first NBA Finals trip last season, didn’t score until the Suns were down 40 points in the third quarter. Booker didn’t get his first basket until later in the quarter.
NBA Twitter didn’t hold back when it came to criticizing whatever was going on with the Suns or celebrating Doncic and Dinwiddie’s conference championship-worthy performance:
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