Key to Dallas Mavericks defeating Suns in 2022 NBA Playoffs: 2. 4th quarter
The Suns had the fifth-highest offensive rating in the NBA this season at 114.2, but it jumps to a league-leading 117.6 in the fourth quarter. Phoenix’s fourth-quarter net rating of 9.8 is 3.4 points per 100 possessions better than the second-best team in the league, the Golden State Warriors. Chris Paul and company dominate the final 12 minutes and are lights out in clutch time.
The Suns won 33 of their 42 games with the score within five points in the last five minutes of the game, which led the league in winning percentage by over 13 percent. Phoenix is never out of a contest because they play their best basketball in the fourth quarter, especially in a close game.
It carried over to the playoffs as the Suns had a 126.8 offensive rating in the fourth quarter during their series against the Pelicans. Phoenix is going to score down the stretch of close games. Can the Mavericks match them? It is one of the biggest keys to winning the series.
The Mavericks won 16 of their 21 clutch games since the start of 2022, which was second in the league behind the Suns. Phoenix is going to look to dominate the fourth by letting CP3 takeover. Dallas needs to slow down the Suns over the final 12 minutes if they want to win four games and advance to the Western Conference Finals.