Takeaway from Dallas Mavericks Game 5 playoff loss to Suns: 3. Defense
Things are looking bleak for the Mavs, but their defense is going to give them a chance to win this series. Save for an awful third quarter where the Suns scored 33 points, Dallas played stout defense against the Suns for the third straight game.
The Suns scored 110 points in Game 5 after averaging just 97.5 points during the two games in Dallas. The Mavericks have made tremendous defensive improvements under first-year head coach Jason Kidd, and it is that end of the floor that has carried them in the postseason.
Chris Paul only managed seven points on three of eight shooting in 35 minutes of action. The Mavericks slowed him down for the third straight game. CP3 did have ten assists but committed four turnovers in Game 5. Expect Dallas to keep making Paul work on the defensive end as they try to limit his offensive production.
Devin Booker got loose for 28 points with Deandre Ayton chipping in 20 and Mikal Bridges putting in 14. Dallas must bring their defense if they want to win Game 6 and keep their season alive.
The Mavericks only gave up 75 points in three quarters if fans eliminate the third quarter that was marred by poor offensive play by Dallas. Expect the defense to show up on Thursday, but can they get their offense on track?