Refs Called out by Fans as Chris Paul Fouls out in Suns' Loss to Luka Doncic, MavsMay 8, 2022
Chris Paul has made a career out of taking over games in crunch time, but that's pretty hard to do from the bench.
That's exactly where Paul was for most of the fourth quarter and extended stretches of Sunday's Game 4 in the Phoenix Suns' Western Conference Semifinal series against the Dallas Mavericks. The future Hall of Famer picked up four fouls in the first half alone and fouled out with approximately nine minutes remaining, which cleared the way for Dallas to clinch the 111-101 victory.
It was not lost on social media that Luka Doncic and other members of the Mavericks were using some of the same embellishment tactics that Paul has throughout his career, and the officials were also not immune to criticism:
shannon sharpe @ShannonSharpe
Luka is my guy, but he’s flopping like a fish outta water. This is ridiculous. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NBAPlayoffs?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NBAPlayoffs</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SunsVsMavs?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#SunsVsMavs</a>
The series is now tied at two games apiece, although it wasn't only because of the whistles.
Doncic stuffed the stat sheet with 26 points, 11 assists, seven rebounds and four steals, while Dorian Finney-Smith provided critical secondary support with 24 points and eight boards behind 8-of-12 shooting from deep.
That Doncic received help from Finney-Smith, Jalen Brunson and even Davis Bertans was key because the Mavericks lost the first two games on the road when he averaged 40 points a night and then turned things around at home with the supporting cast playing at a higher level.
Whether that supporting cast continues to play well as the series shifts back to Phoenix for Tuesday's Game 5 could determine who advances to the Western Conference Finals.