Luka Doncic just ended Chris Paul’s career, and shamed Devin Booker as Mavericks win Game 7

·3 min read
Matt York/AP

Chris Paul will one day be in the Basketball Hall of Fame, but his entire career effectively ended on Sunday night against Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks.

One of the best point guards in the history of the NBA — and the NBA’s best team in the regular season — were historically emasculated by Luka on Sunday night in Phoenix.

“This is a Game 7, right?” TNT NBA analyst Reggie Miller rhetorically asked during the Mavs’ game against the Suns on Sunday night.

Fair question.

The Mavs led 72-32 with 7:38 remaining in the third quarter.

The guy who bet “Mavs lead by 40 on the road in Game 7 of the West Semifinals” made a lot of money on Sunday night.

A few minutes later, the Mavs led 89-48; that was the Suns’ biggest deficit of the entire season.

The Dallas Mavericks, who once trailed their playoff series against Phoenix 0-2, are now in the Western Conference Finals for the first time since 2011. (The Mavs won the NBA title that season).

In the first of DFW’s back-to-back Game 7s on Sunday night, the Mavericks went full zombie-apocalypse in Phoenix and won, 123-90.

The Mavs will play Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference Finals. Game 1 is Wednesday in San Francisco.

The Mavs will be an underdog in that series, whatever that means. They were underdogs against the Suns ,too.

Luka ‘n’ Friends won four of the last five games against the Suns. The Mavs won the last two games of this series by an average of 30 points.

With Paul, Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton, the Suns should have advanced to their second straight West Finals.

The Suns won the most regular-season games in the NBA, and should have returned to the NBA Finals for a second consecutive season.

On the same day the team that beat them in the 2021 NBA Finals, the Milwaukee Bucks, were blown out in a Game 7 the same fate occurred to the Suns.

The Suns’ best players were abused by Luka and Jalen Brunson, Spencer Dinwiddie and their teammates.

On Sunday night, Luka scored 35 points with 10 rebounds. Dinwiddie, who could not hit air early in this series, scored 30 on 11-of-15 shooting.

Sunday night looked like Game 27 of the regular season, with one team checked out, and looking like they were playing their fourth game in six days.

The other team was loose, and shooting as if they were defended by no one.

Blame Suns coach Monty Williams for failing to counter Mavs coach Jason Kidd after Game 2.

Blame Paul, who the Mavericks exposed after Game 2. Throw in Devin Booker, too.

And Ayton.

And Luka.

After scoring 19 points and 28 points in Games 1 and Games 2, Paul looked slow. He looked old.

He did not score more than 13 points in any of the remaining games of the series.

He’s 37, and while he may have some NBA games left in those legs, the Mavs finished him.

Booker has no excuse.

An MVP candidate this season, he scored 11 points on Sunday night, on 3-of-14 shooting. As poorly as he played in the Suns’ Game 6 loss, he was somehow worse on Sunday.

Ayton should have averaged 25 points and 12 rebounds in this series. He didn’t come close.

In Game 7, the most dominant big man in this series who was playing against a small lineup was gone before the tip off. He scored 5 points with 4 rebounds on Sunday night.

BTW: Ayton was the No. 1 pick in the 2018 NBA Draft. He was selected two picks ahead of Doncic. The same Doncic who was traded by the Atlanta Hawks to the Mavs.

Doncic was the best player in this series; ultimately, he is the biggest reason why the Mavs upset the Suns in this series and are in the Western Conference Finals.

Chris Paul had his chances, but Doncic ended them.