The Suns completely destroyed Dallas, 128-102, to cement an undefeated Bubble record. They now wait until 6 p.m. MST to see whether Portland seals the deal or not.
The Suns just suddenly play really well in every game. They just come out on the court, and, like, execute and are good.
Devin Booker came out like a man possessed, which shouldn’t go overlooked. We’ve all spent five years waiting to see what he’d look like in a must-win, playoff-type game. It always felt like he would meet the moment, but you can never know for sure. For Booker to come out firing, avoid foul trouble, and look THIS comfortable? Oh, man.
The only thing working in Dallas’ favor at first was Boban Marjanovic, who Ayton still hasn’t quite figured out. Ayton doesn’t always know how to manipulate the matchup in his favor, so he ends up settling for bad shots and getting out-muscled by the huge Marjanovic.
But Marjanovic was off the floor less than halfway through the first period, and from that point on, the Suns pulled away. Dario Saric was able to out-play Maxi Kleber (who was questionable for the game) and get the ball moving in the second unit, as always.
After the first period, the Suns’ bench was perfect from the field for 11 points.
A quick Dallas run narrowed the gap a bit early in the second quarter, but Phoenix — as is suddenly the norm — answered. Cam Payne came alive from deep, Booker kept attacking, and the transition game got going, which helped Mikal Bridges flash as a finisher.
Everything was churning. At the end of the half, Phoenix was up, 76-57.
Honestly, the rest of the game was a blowout. Dallas has a serious defensive issue without Dwight Powell, and just had nothing to say with Booker on fire and the Suns in complete control of the pace.
The Mavs had one punch to throw in the second quarter and nothing else after that.
In the second half, the main highlight was Booker setting a new career high in scoring average, surpassing his 26.6 per game last season in what will likely be the second of many near-30 point per game seasons.
I hate to make the recap boring, but BASK today. The Suns went undefeated in the Bubble, took care of business exactly like they had to, and put themselves in position for the first playoff appearance in a decade. If Brooklyn can’t topple Portland, so be it.
Phoenix did everything they could.