Mavs, Celtics advance as Bucks, Suns exit NBA playoffs

Bol News  |  May 16, 2022

On a day of NBA playoff upsets on Sunday, Luka Doncic led the Dallas Mavericks to a stunning rout of the top-seeded Phoenix Suns, while the Boston Celtics eliminated the defending champion, Milwaukee Bucks.

In Phoenix, Slovenian phenom Doncic led a comprehensive eclipse of the Suns as the Mavericks won the series 4-3 with a 123-90 pounding of the Western Conference favorites.

After a 64-win regular season, the Suns entered the playoffs with the best record in basketball and were widely expected to return to the NBA Finals for the second consecutive season.

The Suns’ hopes of winning a championship were shattered by Doncic’s scorching shooting, and the Mavs will now face the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference finals, which will begin on Wednesday.

Spencer Dinwiddie chipped in with 30 points, including five three-pointers, to help Doncic finish with 35 points, 10 rebounds, and four assists.

Jalen Brunson also scored in double digits for Phoenix, who were without their two stars Devin Booker (11 points) and Chris Paul (11 points) (10).

The Mavericks led from start to end, including a 46-point lead at one point in the second half.

Their 57-27 halftime lead was the largest in NBA playoff history in a decisive game seven.

The Suns’ hopes of winning a championship were shattered by Doncic’s scorching shooting, and the Mavs will now face the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference finals, which will begin on Wednesday.

Spencer Dinwiddie chipped in with 30 points, including five three-pointers, to help Doncic finish with 35 points, 10 rebounds, and four assists.

Jalen Brunson also scored in double digits for Phoenix, who were without their two stars Devin Booker (11 points) and Chris Paul (11 points) (10).

The Mavericks led from start to end, including a 46-point lead at one point in the second half.

Their 57-27 halftime lead was the largest in NBA playoff history in a decisive game seven.

“Amazing,” Doncic said. “I don’t know what to say but this was amazing to win.

“Everybody played as hard as they can. We didn’t have any days off. An incredible team win. I don’t have nothing more to say.”

Phoenix coach Monty Williams said his team had saved their worst performance of the season for their most important game.

“I just told them how badly I hurt for them,” Williams told reporters shortly after addressing his team.

“I know they didn’t want to play that way. We basically played our worst game of the season tonight. I know how bad they wanted it, they just could not execute tonight, could not make a shot early on.

“And that messed with us a little bit, and Dallas played their tails off from start to finish.

“It’s a part of manhood. There are days when it doesn’t go your way and you’ve got to stand there and show character and integrity and take it. That’s life.”

 

Williams stuns Bucks

After their reign as NBA champions ended in a convincing 109-81 game seven defeat to the Celtics in Boston, the Bucks players felt similarly deflated.

With a 4-3 series triumph against the Miami Heat at the TD Garden, Celtics forward Grant Williams put on a show of three-point shooting that helped Boston move to the conference finals.

The Bucks missed a plethora of wide-open shots, and Williams’ shooting from beyond the arc was typical of Boston’s domination from the field.

Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo led the team with 25 points, 20 rebounds, and nine assists.

The Celtics’ three-point shooting accuracy, however, was the difference in the best-of-seven series, as Boston came back from a 3-2 deficit.

Boston made 22 of 55 shots from downtown, compared to Milwaukee’s four of 33 efforts from beyond the arc.

Williams, who scored 27 points, led the three-point barrage with seven threes. Jayson Tatum finished with 23 points on 5-of-9 three-point shooting.

Payton Pritchard joined in the fun, scoring 14 points on four three-pointers off the bench.

Only Bobby Portis of Milwaukee made multiple three-pointers. In his 10-point performance, Portis had two assists.

Ime Udoka, the Celtics’ coach, said he encouraged Williams to shoot more aggressively, implying that the Bucks had “disrespected” him by giving him so much room to operate.

“I told him let it fly. I said ‘They’re disrespecting you more tonight than earlier in the series,'” Udoka said.

Williams stated that he would gladly embrace the challenge.

“Everyone kept saying ‘Let it fly, keep shooting’. So I thought ‘All right, they’re encouraging it, might as well take advantage.’ It was fun. It was just great that we got a win,” Williams said.

Coach Mike Budenholzer offered no excuses for the loss, claiming that Boston had been the superior club throughout the series.

“Everyone kept saying ‘Let it fly, keep shooting’. So I thought ‘All right, they’re encouraging it, might as well take advantage.’ It was fun. It was just great that we got a win,” Williams said.

In a rematch of their 2020 series, Boston will play top seeds Miami in game one of the Eastern Conference finals on Tuesday.

Miami advanced to the NBA Finals with a 4-2 victory in the series.

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