Thing that will decide Dallas Mavericks Game 4 vs. Suns: 4. Foul trouble
The Mavs dealt with early foul trouble in each of the first two games of the series. Jalen Brunson and Reggie Bullock exited before normal in Game 1 after picking up two fouls in the first quarter. JB had more foul trouble in Game 2, but it was Dorian Finney-Smith that struggled to stay on the floor on Wednesday night.
All three are key pieces for the Mavericks, and having them limited early against the Suns gave Phoenix a significant edge. Dallas fell behind quickly in each of the first two games, and they trailed at the end of the first quarter. The Mavs had everyone still on the floor in Game 3 as Dallas held a nine-point edge after one.
Luka Doncic dealt with some foul trouble on Friday night. He came out early in the third quarter and was forced to the bench for a 3.5-minute stretch after picking up his fifth foul in the fourth. The Mavericks held serve without their superstar, but it created some nervous moments for fans.
Dallas needs to stay aggressive but defend without fouling in Game 4. They cannot afford to have Luka Doncic, Jalen Brunson, Dorian Finney-Smith, Reggie Bullock, or Maxi Kleber in foul trouble against the Suns. Phoenix loves to attack, and Chris Paul is a master at drawing fouls making the whistles something to watch closely on Sunday afternoon.