The Phoenix Suns flexed their muscles on the Dallas Mavericks to open the second-round series between the two teams. PHX walked out with a 7-point win in a game that was worse for the Mavericks than the scoreline would suggest. The team spent most of the game down double digits, with Phoenix having outscored Dallas in each of the first three quarters before a garbage-time comeback by the Mavs.
The highlight play of the night was a surprising but magnificent move by backup Phoenix center JaVale McGee.
Luka Doncic switched onto McGee on the perimeter and was looking to blow by the big man, as he has done to so many before. However, McGee interrupted Luka's dribble and stole the ball before dribbling it down the court and throwing down a thunderous dunk.
Considering the reputation that McGee had developed earlier in his career about having incredibly sloppy plays, this was guard-like proficiency from a 7-footer who is in the twilight of his career. McGee is reinforcing why he was the most crucial addition to the Suns' team in the off-season as he has provided great value to the team despite playing limited minutes.
This low-light came at the worst possible time, as the Mavs went down by 21 points in the fourth quarter when that happened. Doncic is also one of the best one-on-one players in the NBA and has beaten LeBron James, Rudy Gobert, Kevin Durant, and others in this situation but couldn't do it to JaVale McGee.
The Mavericks are looking outmatched in this series against Phoenix but will hope that their young superstar in Doncic can pull out more performances like his 45-points tonight.
The Suns know that the Mavs will need every last point that Doncic can provide and will try to make sure that everyone else on the Mavs can't step up as they did against the Utah Jazz.