The Phoneix Suns completed their undefeated streak through the NBA bubble with a 128-102 win over the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday. Devin Booker scored a game-high 27 points.
With a figure of 34-39, the Suns ended their bubble experience with the distinction of being the only undefeated team among all the competitors, bulldozing opponents with a 8-0 streak. The Mavericks went into the game without Kristaps Porzingis, one of their top scorers. They were led by Boban Marjanovic who helped with 18 points and 20 rebounds, while Luka Doncic scored 18 points in only 13 minutes of play.
An Unlucky End to A Resurgent Effort
With the Memphis Grizzlies beating the short-handed Milwaukee Bucks in a game that took place simultaneously, the Suns needed a loss by the Portland Trail Blazers to the Brooklyn Nets later Thursday to get into the Western Conference play-in series as the No. 9 seed. Unfortunately for Phoenix, the Trail Blazers rallied to defeat the Nets, so the Suns' season is over.
Dario Saric added 16 points, Cameron Johnson and Cameron Payne each had 15 and Ricky Rubio dished out 12 assists for the Suns. Booker watched the fourth quarter from the bench. The Mavericks went 3-5 in the bubble and finished the regular season at 43-32. They head into the playoffs as the No. 7 seed in the West, where they'll face the second-seeded Los Angeles Clippers.
Double-digit Lead Throughout the Game
The Suns ran out to a 13-point lead with a 10-0 run late in the first quarter, highlighted by 3-pointers from Payne and Jevon Carter. The Mavericks turned things around in the second quarter. They trimmed the Suns' lead to 45-42 on Delon Wright's layup with 7:36 left.
But the Suns took over for good, pushing their lead to 17 at 64-47 after Booker banked in a fall-away jumper, was fouled and hit the free throw. Phoenix made 29 of 44 shots in the first half for 66 percent, including 8 of 14 on 3s. The Suns held a double-digit lead throughout the second half.
(With inputs from agencies)