It came as no surprise when Luka Donsic quietly drove the first three shots of the game seven to give the Dallas Mavericks an early lead.
The surprise came in the next two hours: the top pick Phoenix Suns had no reaction.
Donsick scored 35 points, Spencer added Dinweid 30 and Mavericks beat the Suns in a 123-90 knockout on Monday (AEST), advancing to the Western Conference finals for the first time since 2011.
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“A lot of people said it would be a push,” Mavs coach Jason Kidd said with a smile. “They were right.”
However, Dallas did not win on Monday. The Suns won the first two games of the series and then went on to win 3-2, but the Mavs dominated the hostile environment from start to finish in Game Seven. By contrast, it was an embarrassing no-show for the play-off-tested Sun – who advanced to the NBA Finals last season with a very similar roster.
The social media reaction to Phoenix’s shock loss was brutal.
Former Celtics champion Kendrick Perkins and iconic ESPN host Stephen A. Smith was among several high-profile names in NBA media who played Torch the Sons after the game Seven Upset.
The fourth-seeded Mavericks will face Golden State in the first game on Thursday.
“Amazing,” Donsick said. “I don’t know what to say.”
Donsik gave Maves an early lead, making his first three shots, including two three-pointers. That helped push Dallas 27-17 in the first quarter and 57-27 in the halftime break.
Doncic and Dinweid, who came off the bench, also made 48 of Mavericks’ 57 points. Donsik’s 28 points in the first half matched the total of Sans’s team.
Game seven dramas? Not in the desert.
Simply put, the Suns seemed overwhelmed by the pressure of seven games that they usually missed shots, made bad passes that they don’t normally make, and looked nothing like the team that won the NBA-best 64 games in the regular season.
By halftime, many Sans fans were roaring at the ugly display.
The series may be close but personal games weren’t usually. Three of the first six games were scored by at least 20 points and none of the games were final.
Following a similar pattern in Game Seven, all the damage except the team was the road team. Donsick was great, making shots from all floors and finishing 12 of 19 from the field, including six of three of 11. He also got some help: Dinweidi was great with 10 points out of 10, including four out of five from a three-point range in the first half.
Meanwhile, the Phoenix All-Star backcourt of Chris Paul and Devin Booker has never been a factor. Paul, 37, is a 12-time All-Star who has done everything possible in the game without winning a championship.
In the aftermath of this catastrophe, it is only natural to wonder if there will be more opportunities. Booker finished with 11 points and three shots out of 14. Paul had 10 points and four assists. Sans took just 37.9 percent shots from the field.
“You can see that there was some pressure on them early on,” Kidd said. “They usually miss some shots.”
Dallas beat adversity with a win: After beating the Celtics Box early Monday, the home team in the NBA Game 7s was 110-33 (77 percent).
This is the second year in a row that the Suns have lost in the play-off series after leading 2-0. They won the first two games against the Box in the NBA Finals and lost four games in a row.
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