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Phoenix Suns at Dallas Mavericks Game 4 Betting Preview

The Dallas Mavericks were able to make their Western Conference semifinals playoff matchup a series, getting a 103-94 victory on Friday to make things 2-1. They say the series doesn’t truly start until a team loses at home, which means Dallas is still in this – but also that Sunday afternoon’s game is a must-win.

Phoenix is still a -2 point favorite despite their Game 3 loss. The Mavericks are now 32-13 at the American Airlines Center this season, is the location of the game the ultimate deciding factor for this one or will the #1 seed Suns simply step up as the better team?

Uncharacteristic Performance

Chris Paul was pretty dominant in Wednesday’s 129-109 win back at the Footprint Center, scoring 14 of his 28 points in the fourth quarter while also adding eight assists to help Phoenix go up 2-0. What we saw on Friday was a complete contrast, though, with Paul committing seven assists in the first half alone and finishing with just 12 points in the loss.

Paul wasn’t the only one who had a down game on Friday, as Devin Booker finished with just 18 points after averaging 26.5 in the first two matchups. As much as scoring balance is nice, the Suns probably aren’t going to win many games that Jae Crowder leads them in scoring with 19 points, as he did in Game 3.

Getting Backup

Luka Doncic has been great this series, going for 45 points in the opener and adding 35 in Game 2. Those were both losses, though, and although Doncic went for another 26 points (to go with 13 rebounds and nine assists) in Game 3, it was the contributions around him that really allowed the Mavericks to proceed to the win.

Jalen Brunson had his most productive game of the series with 28 points, while three other players added at least 14. More importantly, the Dallas defense clamped down and held Phoenix to 94 points after they had scored 120+ in each of the first two. Can the Mavericks keep up that same intensity that had them as the #2 scoring defense during the regular season?

Suns/Mavericks Betting Prediction

The big question ahead of Sunday’s Game 3 in Dallas is if the Suns can make the necessary adjustments to not repeat Friday’s performance?

It’s not likely we’ll see Paul and Booker both held to under 20 points again, but the Mavericks also have a legit defense and home-court advantage.

Phoenix hasn’t really shown the ability to stop Doncic in this series. If he can get a similar amount of help as he did in Game 3, then the Mavericks have a real chance of getting the outright win and tying up this series 3-3.

While the Suns may have had the best record in the NBA this season, they did have their share of struggles against New Orleans in the first round and do look vulnerable at times.

Betting Pick: Mavericks -2

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