Booker takes aim at Doncic in Dallas' sixth straight loss

Devin Booker, with a triple with one second left, gave the Suns victory on his return to the court. The Mavs are already looking into the well.


The Mavericks are plummeting. The casualties from the coronavirus have left them touched and the already lack of cohesion that they did show last season does not help either. Now they look over the cliff of the Western Conference, which is quite deep and difficult to climb if you fall. There are already six defeats in a row. Only the Pelicans and Timberwolves are worse than them. It also coincides that in this streak they have had their two great stars, Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis, on the court. It has not been valid. Even more negative, at least in terms of morale, is that the biggest threat from the opposing team comes back in the game in which they face you and hit you with a triple in the last second to come back and win.

That decisive player was Devin Booker, who had been out for a week and a half and took it upon himself to dispel doubts when he played. The guard came out of the blocks in a slate play and married a shot from the right zone as soon as he received the ball in a play of tearing his clothes: the Mavs were two up and had one more foul to do before entering in bonus. Booker finished with 24 points and that winning basket, although the one who gave him the pass was the best of the night. Paul, who bothered enough so that his rival could not make the final shot, touched the triple-double: 34 points, 9 rebounds and 9 assists. The veteran point guard got in front of Doncic so that he did not see the basket well and missed a desperate triple.

The frustration of the Slovenian star from Dallas has not reached the ceiling, as he returned to slack in the selection of pitches one more night. Finishing with 25 points, 8 assists and 5 rebounds a game is to be congratulated, but not so much when the series of shots was 7/19. He missed three of his four triples and made ten free to add to his account. From long distance, his penalties have already become a giant ball that makes him the second worst in the NBA, behind Kelly Oubre, in percentage with at least seven attempts per game and a hundred in total (29.3%) . Luka Doncic is infected with frustration and his franchise is the worst stop.

In fact, as Doncic said at the end of the game, the Mavericks played well and it was the famous details that decided in the end. Maybe with a stronger rotation they could have fought better. The fact is that even common suspects in the defense, like Tim Hardaway, threw themselves on the ground to hunt balls. The guard was the positive note, with 18 points from the bench, in addition to a Josh Richardson who went up to 24 points. The bad thing is that in front they had some Suns who also had their bad streak but they are one of the teams called to improve their classification last year.

Doncic was slow to score his first basket in play, it was already in the middle of the second quarter, but he showed his character by doing so after damaging his right leg and going against two defenders. Earlier he had noticed his rival punishing along with Cauley-Stein the defense of the continuations. Chris Paul was the one who was keeping his team alone, who saw Richardson lacking shots to keep putting and Brunson directing well when the Balkan was not there. Eleven of thirteen points in that span of the Suns before reaching the break were from Paul, but Kristaps Porzingis appeared to hit a 3 with which he put a small advantage to reach the second half.

The lead rose to ten in the third period. It was, after another streak from Paul, substitute Kaminsky who was shown to appease the good form of the Mavs. Already in the fourth act, with Paul playing with Porzingis and Booker loosening his arm, the visitors got fully into the game not to leave it. Hardaway's 3-pointer with less than two minutes to go put the Mavs ahead, already dangerous. Paul and Booker punished Porzingis in two consecutive actions and in the last one the first sought to uncheck the second, who scored with Finey-Smith's hand almost to the face in what was the last straw for the Texans.

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