Suns vs. Mavericks Preview: Phoenix Stars Will Take Control

The Mavericks responded to their 0-2 deficit to Phoenix with two huge home wins this past weekend. The pressure is now on the Suns to hold home court advantage and avoid facing a Game 6 on the road against the Mavericks.

Phoenix comfortably handed Dallas in the first two games at the Footprint Center, maintaining control throughout each of the first two contests. Even with Luka Doncic averaging 40 points per game, the Suns were able to limit the production of other Mavericks supporting cast while riding the scoring of Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton.

However, after Dorian Finney-Smith and Jalen Brunson found their scoring touch in Dallas, will the Suns be able to maintain command of this series on their home court?

Here are my two picks for a crucial Game 5 in this fascinating Western Conference playoff matchup.

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Suns vs. Mavericks Betting Odds

Suns Mavericks
Spread -6 +6
Moneyline -262 +212
Over/Under 215

*Lines accurate at the time of publication.

Suns vs. Mavericks Bets

Suns -6 (-110, DraftKings)

Several things went against Phoenix in Game 4.

First, point guard Chris Paul fouled out of the game for the first time all season. In fact, Paul had only reached five fouls once in any contest this year. Second, the Suns defense allowed Dallas to shoot a blistering 45.5% (20 of 44) from 3P range, after holding their opponents to just 33.7% (third-best) from beyond the arc in all road games this season. This included a blistering night from Dallas forward Dorian Finney-Smith, who finished 8 of 12 (66.7%) from deep. Lastly, the Suns finished with 17 turnovers after averaging just 12.8 turnovers per game on the road this season.

There are, however, several reasons to pick the Suns as a six-point favorite tonight. Dallas continues to have no answer for shooting guard Devin Booker, who finished with 35 points in Game 4, and has scored 30 or more point twice in the last three games. I certainly expect a bounceback performance from Chris Paul, with 6-foot-11 center Deandre Ayton being featured early and often.

Mavericks center Dwight Powell averaged 21.9 minutes per game in the regular season, yet has posted just 10 minutes in each of the past two games. I expect Dallas head coach Jason Kidd to increase playing time for Maxi Kleber and Davis Bertans, increasing Ayton’s interior advantage even more.

Phoenix won the first two games of this series by an average of 13.5 points, even with a miracle Game 1 comeback by the Mavericks to skew the final score. I’m backing the Suns to win by double-digits and the Mavericks shooting prowess to regress to the mean.

Risk: 1.10 units on DraftKings to win 1 unit. (Bet up to -120)

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Chris Paul Over 30.5 Points + Rebounds + Assists (-110, DraftKings)

If I project a big win for the Suns, that will certainly be tethered to a big game from their leader. Chris Paul will be a ton of movitation to tonight’s matchup after fouling out of Game 4. Paul has a propensity for huge stat lines in the Suns’ biggest games.

In Round 1, Paul posted 28 points and 14 assists in a critical 114-11 Game 3 win over New Orleans. He also tallied 33 points, five rebounds, and eight assists in the closeout Game 6 win over the Pelicans. We have seen Paul domiante the Mavericks already with 28 points, six rebounds, and eight assists in their Game 2 victory at home last Wednesday.

With Phoenix bench players Cam Payne and Landry Shamet struggling, Paul could be in line for his best all-around game of the playoffs. I’m back the star Suns guard to reach 31 PRA on a night his team desperatley needs a win.

Risk: 1.10 units on DraftKings to win 1 unit. (Bet up to -120)

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