Ricky's Suns seal 8-0 but run out of playoffs

Monty Williams' men added their eighth victory in 8 games in the bubble but they needed the Trail Blazers not to beat the Nets.


8 of 8. The Suns fulfilled their end of the bargain and closed their career in the regular phase with a brilliant and overwhelming victory against the Dallas Mavericks who played the game with the automatic pilot activated and with their minds set on the playoffs that start the season. next Monday. With their usual offensive dynamism and defensive solidity built on an aggressiveness and intensity uncommon in the recent past of the franchise, Williams' men built a triumph that already had a very solid foundation from the end of the first quarter. But that is ultimately not worth a ticket to the play in: the Blazers did not fail and it will be the Oregon team who will face the Grizzlies in the fight for the last ticket to the West playoffs. There was no final miracle for the Suns.

Arizona finished that first quarter with Devin Booker once again standing out in his constant quest to search for the rim. The Michigan guard finished the first 12 minutes, with 71.4% shooting from the field and 5 of 7 on his outside attempts. Figures that set a trend in the Suns, in which players who came out of refreshment like Saric or Payne also excelled in the first quarter. Williams' men finished with very high percentages in the first 12 minutes. In shots from the field, above 60%, while from the perimeter they exceeded 55% with solvency .

These numbers were difficult for the Mavs to follow, thinking about the Clippers elimination and trying to reserve the maximum number of first spades. Porzingis did not even get dressed and Doncic, Carlisle gave him just 13 minutes, in which despite everything he ended up being the top scorer of his team along with Marjanovic, the Serbian center was the only one capable of ending the game with a double-double, after signing a whopping 20 rebounds. This reality speaks of the scarcity of alternatives in the direction of the game that Dallas have on their roster, or rather the amount of light years there are in the level between the starter and the substitute. Key figures in the Mavericks' scheme such as Kleber or Finney-Smith also had a testimonial weight, with just 10 minutes on the court. His party was another. The Clippers were already on the horizon.

That near-constant hitting trend for Arizona's didn't change in the second quarter. Both teams tried to add speed and dynamism to their attacks but the confidence of winning 7 consecutive games also positively affected the mind of the Suns player, who arrived with a whopping 76 points in his account at halftime. 19 points of advantage. It just remained to comply with the second half procedure and wait.

In the third quarter, the set was again for some Suns who were unleashed from the perimeter. But the offensive festival attempt, this time did not have its reward. From a remarkable 8 of 14 in the first two quarters, Williams' men fell to a 44% accuracy, scoring only 3 of the 11 3-pointers thrown over the course of the third quarter. Despite this, the Mavs lost the only player who had that scabies and that ambition to want to make Arizona uncomfortable. Doncic, to the bench and would not play again. In the Suns, second-line players appeared again, Johnson, Payne or Saric, acquiring more offensive weight with the passage of minutes. All three ended up with double digits on their account at the end of the match.

In the third quarter, a gray Ricky Rubio also appeared in the first two quarters. In the first half, the El Masnou point guard was left in a ridiculous and sad point that he scored from the personnel line. In the third, he gained offensive weight, scored 6 points, along with an exterior daring that he had not had at the start of the duel. His scoring numbers, more than deficient until the second half, were again offset by a notable one. The Spanish international ended up signing 12 assists, more than anyone else in the whole game.

With a 25-point lead at the end of the third quarter, it was time for rotations and breaks in the last quarter, which the Suns also took by completing the plenary session. Booker, Rubio and Ayton watched the last 12 minutes from the bench, already without being aware of the result of the Grizzlies who already beat the Bucks with solvency. Among the Okobo, Diallo and Jerome in the Suns and the Reaves, Cleveland or Jackson in the Mavs, the Mali from Arizona stood out, who with just 5 minutes on the court ended the duel with more points than minutes played.

This win may be one of the bittersweet in Arizona franchise history. Those of Williams completed two plenary sessions. 8 of 8 in the bubble and 3 of 3 against Carlisle's, who have been unable to beat them all season. But figures aside, the Suns will walk out of the bubble having won everything ... and missed out on the playoffs. From the start of their career in Florida, the players were fully aware of the utopian project they had on the table, but despite this they evaded qualifying realities and faced every game. The result, a full of victories.

But their 34 wins and 39 losses are not worth them to be in the play in because the Blazers beat the Nets, suffering a lot. The Suns' triumphant walk through Orlando has not helped them to be in the playoffs for the first time since 2010. Those who were no longer pending or results were the Spurs, who with the triumphs of the Grizzlies and Suns are out of the playoffs 23 seasons after. The end of an era.

Photos from as.com
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