Bitter bankruptcy for the Dallas Mavericks around national basketball player Maxi Kleber. With the Phoenix Suns, they go down after a dramatic slump. To advance to the Conference Finals, they must now defeat a curse. There is no good news for Grizzlies star Morant either.
The Dallas Mavericks around national basketball player Maxi Kleber suffered a significant defeat in the NBA playoffs and are on the verge of being eliminated. At the Phoenix Suns, the Texans lost 80-110 (46-49) on Tuesday and are behind in the series with 2-3 wins. Another loss would put the Mavs in the knockout stages.
After a balanced first half, the team around Slovenian top star Luka Doncic threw the game away in the third quarter. The Mavs only had 14 points while the Suns had 33 points. Dallas could not make up for this deficit. Kleber only scored four points, Doncic was once again the best Mavs player with 28 points.
That will again be played in Dallas, but an eventual seventh game will again be played in Arizona. There, the Mavericks would have to do something they haven't been able to do since November 29, 2019: defeat the Suns in the Footprint Arena in Phoenix.
Meanwhile, there was also a clear defeat for the Philadelphia 76ers. They lost to the Miami Heat 85-120 (44-56) and are also 2-3 down in the series. Miami kept the pace high from the start and had their best pitcher in Jimmy Butler with 23 points. Thus, the Heat as well as Phoenix can make the entry into the conference finals perfect with another success.
There was a setback for the Memphis Grizzlies. For the time being, they have to continue without their top star Ja Morant. The 22-year-old guard is even at risk of missing the entire knockout round because of a bruised bone in his right knee, as the team announced. A return to the playoffs is questionable.
Morant sustained the injury in the third game against the Golden State Warriors when opponent Jordan Poole grabbed his knee. So the team, which is 1:3 behind in the series, has to surpass itself in order to avert the end on Wednesday in the home hall.