Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo, Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic, Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic, Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker and Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum have been selected to the 2021-22 All-NBA First Team, the league announced Tuesday.
The All-NBA Second Team consists of Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid, Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant, Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry, and Chicago Bulls forward DeMar DeRozan.
The 2021-22 All-NBA Third Team is composed of Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns, Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James , Suns guard Chris Paul , Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young, and Toronto Raptors forward Pascal Siakam.
Antetokounmpo was the only player to receive All-NBA First Team votes on all 100 ballots (500 total points), earning his fourth consecutive selection to the First Team and sixth All-NBA Team honor overall (First Team, Second Team and Third Team). This is the third All-NBA First Team selection each for Doncic and Jokic, the 2021-22 NBA Most Valuable Player. Booker is making his debut on the All-NBA Team, and Tatum joins Booker as a first-time selection to the All-NBA First Team.
With the selection of Antetokounmpo (27 years old), Doncic (23), Jokic (27), Booker (25) and Tatum (24), the All-NBA First Team is made up entirely of players age 27 or younger for the first time in 67 years (1954-55 season).
Embiid, the 2021-22 NBA scoring champion, has been named to the All-NBA Second Team for the fourth time in the last five seasons. Morant, the 2021-22 NBA Most Improved Player, is an All-NBA Team honoree for the first time. This is the 10th All-NBA Team selection for Durant, the eighth for Curry and the third for DeRozan.
This is the second All-NBA Team honor for both Towns and Siakam and the first for Young. James has extended his NBA record for most All-NBA Team selections to 18. Paul has been voted to the All-NBA Team for the 11th time, the second-most selections among active players behind James.
“Game 7 typically goes to the best player, and I believe we have that in this series. It’s going to be an exciting clash of styles.”
–Spencer Dinwiddie, Dallas Mavericks
The Dallas Mavericks went into Phoenix against the Suns, who had the best record in basketball this season, looking to win Game 7 of their Western Conference second-round series Sunday night. Dallas had not won on the road in this series and have not won in Phoenix since 2019, but as Dinwiddie said, Dallas had the best player in the series, and that was the difference.
The best player in this series, Luka Doncic, scored 27 of his game-high 35 points in the first half to go along with 10 rebounds; Spencer Dinwiddie added 21 of his 30 points in the first half. Jalen Brunson chipped in with 24 points as the Mavs defeated the Suns 123-90 at Footprint Center to advance to the Western Conference Finals to battle the Golden State Warriors.
The trio of Doncic, Dinwiddie, and Brunson combined for 89 points.
Game 1 of the Western Conference finals is Wednesday night at Chase Center.
Doncic and the Suns had the same amount of points(27) at the half. Dallas led by 30 at the break(57-27) and had their largest lead of 46 points in the third. Dallas, who was down 2-0 in this series, defeated the Suns by an average of 30 points in Games 6 and 7.
According to ESPN Stats & Info, the Mavericks’ 33-point win over the Suns was the second-largest win in a series-clinching game versus the best team in the NBA in league history.
Dinwiddie was right about Doncic being the best player in this series as he scored more points than Devin Booker, grabbed more rebounds than Deandre Ayton, dished out more assists than Chris Paul, and had more steals than Mikal Bridges.
Doncic could not stop smiling after beating the Suns in Game 7.
“I can’t get this smile off my face,” he said. “I’m just really happy. Honestly, I think we deserved this.”
Dallas played one of its better games of the season, while the Suns played their worst. Booker(11) and Paul(10) combined for only 21 points, including three points at halftime. In addition, Phoenix shot only 24% in the first half, including 21% from deep.
Phoenix couldn’t make shots; they couldn’t stop the Mavericks, and in the end, they wasted a 64-win season.
“That was good old fashion a** whipping,” Booker said.
Suns head coach Monty Williams added: “I know they didn’t want to play that way. We basically played the worst game of the season tonight. That group has a lot of character and integrity, and I know how bad they wanted it.”
The Suns will look back at this series and this season and be very disappointed. At 37, Paul, who is only getting older, looked worn down in this series. In addition, they’ll have to figure out what they will do with Deandre Ayton, who can be a restricted free agent and played only 17 minutes Sunday night. The main goal for Phoenix was to return to the Finals and win a championship. Obviously, that’s not happening.
Regarding the Mavs, they’re playing good defense and getting stellar play from Doncic. They have a legitimate shot at beating the Warriors as they won the season series 3-1. The Mavs will compete, and we’ll see if they can go back to the NBA Finals for the time since 2011.
The Dallas Mavericks have forced a Game 7 after defeating the Phoenix Suns 111-86 in Game 6 at American Airlines Center on Thursday night.
Game 7 is Sunday in Phoenix.
Of course, Luka Doncic led the way for the Mavericks with 33 points, 11 rebounds, eight assists, and four steals. Per Stathead, Doncic is only the fifth player in NBA history to record this stat line in a playoff game.
“I don’t care about stats if we win,” Doncic said after the win. “If we win, I am good. Statistics don’t really matter to me, but if we win, it is going to be amazing. We have another game. We won this game on the defensive end, and now we have another game. It is fun. It’s the playoffs, and we are going to give our everything.”
The Mavericks forced 22 turnovers(which led to 29 points), including a season-high 16 steals by Dallas.
With their backs against the wall, Dallas head coach Jason Kidd felt the team showed some pride and fed off their home crowd.
“I thought the fans were great,” Kidd said. “I thought we played off of the fans. I thought they were involved for 48 minutes tonight. But I thought the guys, too, were attuned to the game plan and came out and executed it to a T. Again, turnovers were something that we talked about – kept those down—made open shots. Everyone was involved; the ball was touching the paint. And then, defensively, we were active. We got deflections, came up with steals. I thought the vibe was high. That group in that locker room, we’ve talked about it, will always bounce back after a bad game. They felt they had a bad game, bounced back. Now we’ve got to figure out how to win on the road.”
The Mavs are 3-0 in Dallas at home against Phoenix in this series and have beaten the Suns by an average of 15 points. However, the Suns are 3-0 in Phoenix versus Dallas in this series; they have won by an average of 19 points.
According to Reggie Bullock, who scored a postseason-career-best 19 points (5-11 3FG) to go with seven rebounds and two steals, Dallas must have the same energy they brought to Game 6 in Game 7.
“Bring the same energy from the jump,” Bullock said about Game 7. “Be ready to punch them in the mouth early. Just keep that going throughout the game. They are a great team, and it is a hostile environment up there. But at the same time, we are just going to come with a lot of energy and just keep playing the way we have been playing all year.”
Obviously, you don’t want to play a Game 7, but Devin Booker, who had 19 points in the loss, is looking forward to it.
“We work all season to have home-court advantage and get the last game in our house, and that’s exciting,” he said. “It’s Game 7. I’ve never been in a Game 7. It’s gonna be fun.”
It’s win or go home for both teams, and based on their regular-season record of 32-9 at home and their dominance at home over the Mavs in this series, Phoenix is the favorite In Game 7. However, with Luka Doncic, anything can happen.
The Dallas Mavericks had all the momentum heading into Game 5 against the Suns, as they won Games 3 and 4 in Dallas to tie their Western Conference second-round series at 2.
In Game 5, Dallas got off to a solid start and took a 26-23 lead after one quarter.
However, Dallas was outscored by 33 points the rest of the way, including 33-14 in the third quarter, as the Suns defeated the Mavs 110-80 at Footprint Center to take a 3-2 series lead.
With the win, the Suns can close out the Mavs in Game 6 Thursday night in Dallas.
In that third quarter, Phoenix created 12 turnovers(seven steals), which led to 18 points, shot 54% from the field, and Devin Booker scored 12 of his team-high 28 points. After three quarters, Phoenix led 82-60 and had their largest lead of 30 points in the fourth.
Phoenix did not play well in Dallas, and they have not lost more than two straight games this season, and with all the drama with Chris Paul and his family in Game 4, you knew the Suns would come back strong in Game 5.
In their first-round series, the Suns were in a similar situation against the Pelicans. After losing Game 4 to the Pelicans, the Suns came back and handled their business in Game 5; Phoenix took care of business in New Orleans against the Pelicans in Game 6, and they must do the same against the Mavericks.
Even though Game 7 would be back in Phoenix, where they were 32-9 in the regular season, the Suns don’t want to be in a position where they have beat a great player like Luka Doncic, who can put up big numbers and steal a game.
Plus, as stated numerous times, to avoid injuries, you don’t want to play extra games, so the Suns have to end this series in Game 6. However, the fourth game is always the hardest to get, so expect Dallas to come out strong.
The Dallas Mavericks have not had an answer for the Phoenix Suns in over two years, and they continued to have no answers for Phoenix on Wednesday night.
After leading 89-86 with over 11 minutes left in the fourth, the Suns went on a 33-9 run to take their largest lead at 122-95 with just under four minutes to go to take Game 2 129-109 at Footprint Center.
Phoenix leads the series 2-0 as the scene shifts to Dallas for Game 3 Friday night.
The Mavs, who have not defeated the Suns since 2019, have lost 11 consecutive games to Phoenix.
Phoenix shot 65% from the field, a new Suns postseason franchise record in a single playoff game. The Suns scored 40 points and shot 84% from the floor in the fourth, and Chris Paul had 14 of his 28 points in the final period.
“Like I always say, just playing the game,” Paul said about the fourth quarter. “Book (Devin Booker) started that third quarter, got us going. You know, I read the game. And other guys on the team made big shots whenever they made a run, just to get us going and get us warmed up into the game. Just feeding off of that.”
Booker, who led the Suns with 30 points, added on Paul: “I remember growing up – I don’t want to take it back to when I was five years old again – but me and my dad watched him play, and he was like, ‘do you see how he makes sure everybody is involved, and then he picks his times when he’s going to take over the game?’, and I’ve just always admired the way he does that. He’s just in control at all times. He’s two, three steps ahead of whatever the other team is doing. And just the leadership, that can never go unnoticed when you’re talking about this man. Just the way he holds people accountable, the will to win. The list keeps going on and on; that’s why he has the nickname (Point God) that he does.”
Luka Doncic led the Mavs with 35 points, and just like everybody else, he was impressed with Paul.
“He’s tough, man; he’s a hell of a player,” Doncic said about Paul. “He’s been in this league a lot of years; he knows what this is about, so he’s very tough. But like I said, we have to do a better job with him.”
Like Game 1, Mavs head coach Jason Kidd says Doncic needs help from others if Dallas wants to compete in this series.
“He had a great game, but no one else showed,” Kidd said. “We’ve got to get other guys shooting the ball better. We can’t win with just him out there scoring 30 a night. Not at this time of the year, and we’re playing the best team in the league, and so we’ve got to get other guys going.”
The Suns look like the team that won 64 games in the regular season right now, and that team was tough to beat in the regular season, and that team will be tough to beat for the Mavericks. The series is not over, but the Mavs have to find a way to turn things around in Dallas.
Luka Doncic did his job in the Dallas Mavericks’ Game 1 loss to the Phoenix Suns in the Western Conference semifinals Monday night. Doncic had 45 points(one short of playoff career-high), 12 rebounds, and eight assists.
However, that was overshadowed by Deandre Ayton’s(12/20 FG) 25 points and eight rebounds and Devin Booker’s 23 points, nine rebounds, and eight assists as the Suns had six players in double figures, including all five starters. Phoenix would lead from start to finish and defeat the Mavericks 121-114 at Footprint Center to take a 1-0 series lead.
Game 2 is Wednesday night in Phoenix.
The Suns, who led by as many as 21 points in this one, have defeated the Mavs 10 straight times(regular season and playoffs combined).
Mavs head coach Jason Kidd liked what Doncic did, but according to him, Doncic needed more help.
“He got whatever he wanted,” Kidd said after the loss. “When you look at the shots in the paint, behind the arc, midrange, and then also he got his teammates some great looks that we normally have made, I thought he played great. We didn’t play him the whole game. Again, in the fourth quarter, those guys started to get a rhythm and played harder, but I thought he played great.”
After three quarters, the Suns scored 96 points. In addition, they finished the game shooting 51% from the field. Doncic felt the team’s defense lost Game 1.
“I think our defense lost us the game tonight,” Doncic said. “I think our start on the defensive end was terrible, and we’ve got to change that. I know we can play way better defense, and I know we will.”
The Suns came out with a lot of energy in this one, and they used their size to punish the Mavs on the glass as they outrebounded Dallas 51-36. Against the Jazz, Dallas was able to take advantage of Rudy Gobert because he could not hurt them on the offensive end. However, Ayton can and did hurt the Mavs, which Booker discussed postgame.
“He’s a beast down there, and he proves it night-in and night-out,” Booker said of Ayton. “That’s what teams try to go to verses us, just have five guards out there and switch it one through five, and that’s his time to punish them.”
The Mavs clearly have had a hard time defeating the Suns as they haven’t beaten Phoenix since 2019. The Suns have the their number, but there’s hope. Dallas lost Game 1 to the Jazz last round and won four of the next five games in that series.
However, Dallas must be better defensively and get a little more from other players not named Luka Doncic.
-Shooting 51% in the win, Phoenix has now shot 50+ FG% in all seven of their playoff games this postseason. The seven consecutive games shooting 50+ FG% is a franchise postseason record.
-Chris Paul totaled 19 points on 7-of-13 shooting tonight, to go along with 5 rebounds, 3 assists, a steal and a block. With this third assist tonight, Paul passed Tony Parker for fifth on the NBA’s all-time playoff assists list.
-Maxi Kleber added 19 points on 6-of-9 shooting tonight in 25 minutes off the bench for Dallas. Kleber knocked down a game-high five three- pointers on eight attempts in the game.
Coming into Game 5 of their first-round series against the New Orleans Pelicans, the Phoenix Suns won two games because of two 19-point fourth quarters from Chris Paul. CP3 got the job done for the Suns in Game 5 as he had 22 points and 11 assists. However, Mikal Bridges was the star of the game.
Bridges, who finished second for the Defensive Player of the Year Award, tied a playoff career-high with 31 points on 12/17 shooting from the field, including 4/4 from downtown, five rebounds, two steals, and four blocks in 47 minutes of action as the Suns defeated the Pelicans 112-97 at Footprint Center to take a 3-2 series lead.
Game 6 is Thursday night in New Orleans.
Bridges did it on both ends of the court. According to StatMuse, the players he guarded were 3/17 from the floor with seven points.
“He doesn’t miss games, he guards the best players every night, and then he has 31,” Paul said.
Bridges, who has never missed an NBA game in four seasons, was ready to keep on playing after the win.
“I’m ready to play tomorrow. I’m teed up, man,” Bridges said. “I’m energized; my teammates keep me going. You got me itching my knee right now because I’m talking about it. I need to calm down, I need to breathe, but I’m just ready, man.”
Deandre Ayton, who had 19 points and nine rebounds, added on Bridges: “The man takes care of his body, and he approaches the game the same way every day; he doesn’t change.”
Without Devin Booker, it’s all hands on deck for the Suns, and Bridges got the job done. The Suns have to end this series in Game 6; Phoenix does not want to be in a position where they have to play a Game 7. The Suns are the better team, and as the better team, they have to put the Pelicans away Thursday night.
Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker has sustained a mild right hamstring strain, the team announced Wednesday.
According to the team, an MRI revealed the injury, and there is no timetable for his return.
According to ESPN Adrian Wojnarowski, Booker is expected to miss Games 3 and 4 but could return later in this series.
The injury occurred in the third quarter of Phoenix’s 125-114 loss to the Pelicans in Game 2 of their first-round series. Booker scored all 31 points, including seven threes, in the first half.
New Orleans led Phoenix 77-74 with 4:35 left in the third when Booker exited with the injury. The Pelicans would outscore the Suns 48-40 the rest of the way and would win 125-114.
The series is tied at 1, and Game 2 is Friday night in New Orleans.
Booker missed seven games with a strained left hamstring injury during the regular season. Phoenix was 8-6 without Booker this season.
Hamstrings can be tricky, but hopefully, this is not an injury that will keep Booker out for an extended period. Phoenix’s only goal is a championship. They went to the NBA Finals last season and have the best record in basketball this season, so anything short of a title would be a disappointment.
Here’s also the issue, you can’t play “extra games” in the playoffs, and now the Suns will be playing at least an extra game and possibly more in this series.
It’s next man up for the Suns, so guys like Landry Shamet and Cam Johnson have to step up. New Orleans has the momentum, but Phoenix is still the better team, even without Booker.
However, winning this series has just gotten a little complicated for the Suns, but just like they have all season long, expect the Suns to play well without Booker.
Chris Paul had his second consecutive double-double in this series as he finished with 17 points and 14 assists Tuesday night.
After leading the Suns to a perfect 3-0 record over the past week, moving Phoenix to a league-best 61-14 on the season, guard Devin Booker has been named the Western Conference Player of the Week for March 21-27, the NBA announced today.
Booker averaged 37.3 points in the three games on 58.1 percent shooting (42.9 percent from three-point range), 6.3 assists and 3.0 rebounds. Booker opened the week with 28 points and 7 assists in the team’s 125-116 win at Minnesota. In the win, Booker became the fourth-youngest player in NBA history to reach 11,000 career points, trailing only LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Kobe Bryant.
A night later, Booker netted a season-high 49 points, to go along with 10 assists and 3 steals in a 140-130 win over the Nuggets in Denver. His 49 points are the most by a player who also dished 10+ assists in the same game in franchise history. With the game taking place on March 24, Booker, who passed Amar’e Stoudemire for sixth on the Suns’ all-time scoring list in the game, is now averaging 48.0 points in three career games on March 24, the highest scoring average on a single date in the regular season in NBA history (min. 3 games played).
The three-time All-Star concluded his week with a 35-point performance on March 27 in a 114-104 win over Philadelphia. Booker scored 22 of his points in the first quarter for his 18th-career 20+ point quarter, the third-most in the NBA since the 2016-17 season trailing only James Harden (22) and Stephen Curry (23).
Phoenix currently hold a nine-game lead over Memphis for the best record in the NBA this season, as the Suns has already clinched the top record in the league and home court advantage throughout the Playoffs.
Additionally, the Suns are one win shy of matching the franchise record for wins in a season with seven games remaining in the regular season. Phoenix holds a 30-6 record in road games this season, a better road winning percentage than every team’s home winning percentage, and is the only team in the league this season to rank in the top-three in offensive (2nd), defensive (2nd) and net (1st) rating. Led by Booker, Phoenix has been the NBA’s best team in the clutch this season, ranking first in offensive and net rating in the clutch and second in defensive rating, while holding the league’s best record in clutch games at 31-6.