It felt like the opening round in the playoffs for the Phoenix Suns on Sunday. The Suns visited their adversary in the Dallas Mavericks, prompting for one of the better showdowns for the NBA-slated day.
Phoenix took control of the contest early on and attempted to keep momentum going into the second quarter. As often as ever, Dallas’ role players continued their havoc on the Suns.
The two teams battled late into the fourth quarter, with the pulling away in the final seconds, winning 130-126.
The Last Laugh Between Durant and Irving
Both Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving wish things would’ve transpired differently with the Brooklyn Nets. Be that as it may, both superstars are seeming to find elevated fits with their new squads.
It appeared that Durant may have the edge on Irving by a wide margin by the looks of the first half. Durant took to halftime with 16 points and four rebounds. On the other end, Irving only managed nine points and four assists.
Irving flipped the script in the second half, however. The 30-year-old guard erupted in the third quarter, helping the Mavs keep up a lead that was originated from contributions due to role players.
As time winded down in the third quarter, it quickly became a contest highlighted about Durant and Irving, though both teams had a bigger objective in place.
By the start of the fourth quarter, Irving was up to 22 points and five assists, helping Dončić keep the Mavs in the contest.
Devin Booker, Durant, Dončić and Irving combined for 55 of 70 points for the third quarter overall.
Here Comes the Ugly
While fans enjoy a wire-to-wire matchup between rivals, the Suns could have had the momentum for a decent amount of the game.
Instead, the game quickly shifted into a Durant-Irving battle, with no real flow of offense coming from Phoenix. Much of the Suns’ ball-moving energy came back during the fourth quarter, in which Chris Paul’s feeds to Deandre Ayton resulted in two crucial turnovers.
While Phoenix certainly is a contender, figuring out ways to keep everyone besides Booker and Durant involved will be the uphill battle now.
Whereas earlier this season there weren’t enough shot-takers to contribute, the Suns now have to figure out a decent contribution for everyone.
On another side of the Suns, the bench continues to be a head-scratching mystery. After acquiring Terrance Ross and T.J. Warren namely, it was thought that the reserves unit had improved dramatically.
Yet after another disappointing showing from the reserves , it may take more time for everyone to become more acquainted.
The Suns experienced no real energy from the bench, aside from two three-pointer from Ish Wainwright in succession to put Phoenix briefly back in the lead. Wainwright proved to be a major contributor for the Suns, finishing the game with 12 points on 4-of-5 shooting from three-point range.
With only 17 games remaining in the season, Phoenix is running out of time to put everything together.
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