Dallas (3-3) at Phoenix (3-3)
When: Sunday, May 15th, 2022
Where: Footprint Center,
Time: TBA | TV: TBA
Opening Odds: Phoenix -6/207
The Phoenix Suns had the best record in the NBA this season, but have been pushed to the limit in their Western Conference semifinals series with the Dallas Mavericks. The home team has ruled this entire series and most of these first six games have not even been close. Dallas avoided elimination on Thursday with a dominating 113-86 home win in Game 6 and will try and pull off the upset in Sunday’s Game 7 at Footprint Center in Phoenix. Three games in this series have been decided by 20 or more points and the closest match was a seven-point Phoenix win in Game 1. Tip-off is set for 8 p.m. EST, with the Suns six-point favorites and the total is pegged at 205.
The Mavericks committed just seven turnovers in Thursday’s Game 6, while forcing Phoenix into 22. Stars Devin Booker and Chris Paul committed a combined 13 of those turnovers for the Suns. Luka Doncic was again the star for Dallas with 33 points, 11 rebounds, eight assists and four steals. Phoenix went all the way to the NBA Finals last season, but didn’t play in a Game 7 and this will be Booker’s first such game in his career. “Greatest two words in sports,” Booker told reporters. “I’m excited to feel the energy. I’m excited to be a part of it. It’s a great opportunity.” Of their nine meetings this season, the home team has won eight of them and Dallas hasn’t won in Phoenix since Nov. 29, 2019.
Doncic has yet to record a triple-double these playoffs but has been really close including Thursday’s Game 6. The superstar is averaging 32.2 points, 9.8 rebounds, 7.5 assists and 2.2 steals this series. Doncic got help on Thursday with Reggie Bullock nailing five three-pointers and posting 19 points in the blowout win. Spencer Dinwiddie also had five 3s, finishing with 15 points off the bench. Defense was the key in the Game 6 win, with Dallas holding Phoenix to under 40 percent shooting and 6-of-18 from beyond the arc. They’ll need that type of effort again this Sunday in order to advance to the Western Conference Finals against Golden State.
The Suns went cold from the floor in Game 6 and scored just 14 points in the final quarter. Booker couldn’t get anything going with just 19 points and missed all four of his 3-point attempts. Deandre Ayton led the Suns with 21 points and 11 rebounds for his third double-double of the series. Booker is averaging 25.5 points, 5.7 rebounds and 5.0 assists in the series. The Suns are 5-1 at home in the playoffs with an average margin of victory of 14 points. Phoenix was an NBA-best 32-9 at home this season and have covered 11 of 14 in the conference semifinals.
I’m going to stick with the home trend here. The closest game of this series was a 7-point win by Phoenix in Game 1. Booker and Paul will have big games here and hold everyone but Doncic in check.
Check out who Bobby Babowski has on his Free NBA Picks page for today.
Pick: Suns -6.5