Suns vs. Mavericks NBA playoffs pick: Phoenix the pick

 

The Dallas Mavericks return home in a must-win spot after falling behind 2-0 in the Western Conference semifinals. The Suns are slight 1.5-point favorites Friday night and -110 on the moneyline.

It’s hard to blame Luka Doncic for the 0-2 deficit. Doncic has scored 80 points in the first two games on 28 of 52 shooting. He now ranks first all-time in playoff scoring average at 33.5 ppg.

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While Luka has been close to unstoppable as a scorer, the Suns have attacked him with success on the defensive end using the pick and roll. Chris Paul had his way with Doncic in Game 2, finishing with 28 points. The loss dropped Luka to just 1-9 versus Paul in his career.

Chris Paul layup.
Chris Paul drives to the hoop past Luka Doncic.
Getty Images

If the Mavericks are going to get back in this series, Jalen Brunson needs to play better. Brunson averaged 27.8 points against the Jazz in Round 1 but has scored just 13 and 9 in the first two games of this series. Brunson has gone a miserable 9-of-28 from the floor.

Dallas is 29-12 at home this season but the Suns are the best road team in the NBA (32-9). Phoenix is also 5-0 against the Mavericks this year, winning by an average of 10 points.

Some people will back the “must-win” narrative here but it’s just not a great matchup for Dallas.

The play: Suns moneyline (-110)

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