May 15, 2022; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) reacts against the Phoenix Suns in game seven of the second round for the 2022 NBA playoffs at Footprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
There are humiliating defeats, and then there is what the Phoenix Suns just experienced last weekend. For their part, the Dallas Mavericks do not think that the Suns did a particularly good job of handling it.
The NBA announced this week that they had fined the Mavs $50,000 for violating “bench decorum” in their Game 7 victory over the Suns this past Sunday. The official release stated that several Dallas players plus a member of the coaching staff stood for an extended period of time in the bench area and were encroaching on the court during live play.
Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News reported on Thursday that there is some speculation within the Mavs organization that certain Suns employees were the driving force behind the fine. Townsend says several Suns employees were seated behind the Dallas bench and might not have liked the players standing all game, a case of “sour grapes” in other words.
Game 7 took place in Phoenix, but the Suns got completely squashed in front of their own home crowd. They trailed by 46 at one point and would end up losing by 33 in maybe the most pathetic winner-take-all game showing ever. Thus, it is plausible that there was no other way for the Suns to save face than by complaining to the NBA about the Mavs and their bench antics.
That was Dallas’ second time getting fined for violating bench decorum in the Suns series, as they had previously been punished for doing so in Game 2. On the bright side, at least head coach Jason Kidd was able to get in a savage jab at Phoenix in response to the fines.
Nov 19, 2019; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers coach Jason Kidd warms up players before the game against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
The Dallas Mavericks played an excellent first half of basketball in Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals against the Golden State Warriors on Friday. The team had a 14-point lead and looked poised to even up the series. But the second half was a completely different story on the defensive end.
The Warriors outscored the Mavericks by 23 points to win the game 126-117 and take a commanding 2-0 series lead.
Speaking to reporters after the game, Mavericks head coach Jason Kidd shared why his team struggled defensively in the second half.
“Offense,” Kidd said. “We play defense when we play offense, and we play no defense when we can’t score. That’s something that we have to get better at this time of the year.”
Kidd isn’t necessarily wrong in his assessment. As the Mavericks’ offense cooled off, the Warriors’ heated up.
After a high-scoring first half in which they led 72-58, the Mavericks scored a combined 45 points in the second half, including a 13-point third quarter. During that stretch, the Warriors scored 68 points, 43 of which came in the fourth quarter.
The Warriors also out-rebounded the Mavericks 43-30, and scored 62 points in the paint to Dallas’ 30.
As the saying goes, “defense wins championships.” But the Mavericks won’t get a chance to play for a championship unless they tighten things up.
Game 3 of the series takes place in Dallas on Sunday, while Game 4 will be on Tuesday. Game 5, if needed, is slated for Thursday.
Shortly after the ball rolled off his fingertips, Golden State Warriors superstar Steph Curry put his hands together and rested his head.
“Night, night,” Curry could be seen saying as the ball dropped in the bucket.
In that moment, Curry knew it was over for Dallas. It was time to put the kids to bed while the Warriors began celebrating a 126-117 comeback victory in Game 2. Curry 32 points, including six three-pointers, helped put Golden State up 2-0 in the series and one step closer to the NBA Finals.
“You can tell how un-choreographed that stuff is,” Curry said after the game, via Sports Illustrated. “I was having fun and you talk about having kids and how bedtime routines are important. It’s the final signal for a job well-done that day.
“I was looking at the ball so I was talking to myself. I don’t know who heard it but it’s a good way to finish a game and we have to take that to Game 3.”
The 19-point comeback and Curry’s sleeping beauty bucket in the final moments should help propel the Warriors forward. And they’ll need that momentum as they travel to Dallas for Game 3 on Sunday night.