The course of Phoenix’s season may have changed in the third quarter of its Game 5 110-80 thumping of Dallas on Tuesday.
The Suns, who to that point had struggled mightily on offense, outscored the Mavericks, 33-14 — putting a damper on any hopes of a Dallas win in the rubber match of the best-of-seven series.
It also was a quarter where Suns guard Devin Booker took off, scoring 12 of his team-high 28 points, while helping forward Deandre Ayton find open shots near the rim.
The net result was a resounding victory that gives Phoenix a 3-2 series lead as it heads to Dallas to play the Mavericks on Thursday night.
The Suns got there thanks in large part to stifling defense that held the Mavericks to 40% shooting from the floor, while forcing 16 Dallas turnovers (to 12 of their own).
It was a teamwide effort that earned the praise of Phoenix coach Monty Williams, who was named the NBA’s Coach of the Year earlier this week.
"The defense tonight — that's the backbone of our program," Williams said.
The Suns and Mavericks meet again in Dallas at 6:30 p.m. Arizona time Thursday on ESPN.
Suns vs. Mavericks Series Schedule
- Game 1: Suns 121, Mavericks 114
- Game 2: Suns 129, Mavericks 109
- Game 3: Mavericks 103, Suns 94
- Game 4: Mavericks 111, Suns 101
- Game 5: Suns 110, Mavericks 80. Suns lead 3-2.
- Game 6: Thursday, 6:30 p.m. ESPN, in Dallas.
- Game 7: May 15, TBD, in Phoenix (if necessary).
Suns Slight Betting Favorites in Game 6
All four of the major Arizona sportsbooks have the Suns as a slight betting favorite Thursday.
BetMGM Arizona gives Phoenix the lowest margin at -1.5.
The other three (Caesars Sportsbook, DraftKings Sportsbook Arizona and FanDuel Sportsbook Arizona) list Phoenix at -2.
For those looking to place a moneyline wager, BetMGM, Caesars Sportsbook, and DraftKings Sportsbook Arizona all put the Suns at -130 to win.
The oddsmakers at FanDuel Sportsbook Arizona, meanwhile, give the Suns -132 odds in Game 6.
Suns See NBA Title Odds Climb Slightly
After Tuesday’s 30-point Game 5 Suns victory, Arizona sports betting sites have a little more faith in the team’s title chances.
DraftKings Sportsbook Arizona has changed Phoenix’s futures from +270 on Monday to +230 on Wednesday, ranking behind the Golden State Warriors (+220) and ahead of the Boston Celtics (+425).
BetMGM Arizona, Caesars Sportsbook Arizona and FanDuel Sportsbook Arizona all have the Suns at +240 in NBA betting championship odds, coming in behind the Warriors, who are at +200 on Caesars and FanDuel and +210 on BetMGM.
For now, Williams and company look to close out the Mavericks on Thursday night and advance to the Western Conference Finals.