Luka Doncic Praised for Refusing to Get Punked in Mavs' Game 3 Win over SunsMay 7, 2022
Dallas Mavericks star point guard Luka Doncic was the target of the Phoenix Suns' offensive attack in the first two games of the Western Conference Semifinals.
After constantly getting scored on and enduring some ridicule from opposing players, Doncic responded in Friday's Game 3 with a hard-nosed performance to lead the Mavericks to a 103-94 win at American Airlines Center to cut the series deficit to 2-1. Doncic finished with 26 points, 13 rebounds, nine assists and two steals.
Throughout the game, fans and analysts online were impressed with Doncic's toughness and how he bounced back from the first two games.
Dallas' supporting cast finally showed up to give Doncic some much needed help. Four other players scored in double figures, led by Jalen Brunson's game-high 28 points.
Doncic has never been questioned for his offensive prowess. He's definitely proved himself on that end with 106 combined points over the first three games of the series.
But it's taken some time for Doncic's defense to catch up to his offensive brilliance. While he still has a ways to go to be a consistently reliable defender, he's made massive strides on that end of the floor this year after head coach Jason Kidd challenged him to improve. His defensive effort paid off on Friday.
The Mavericks still face an uphill battle against the top-seeded Suns, the favorites to win the NBA title. But if Doncic can continue to play with the attitude he showed on Friday, Dallas will have a better chance at spoiling Phoenix's coronation.