Jason Kidd Talks Mavs Drawing Fouls, Shades Chris Paul: 'We're Being Taught' by PG

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVMay 8, 2022

DALLAS, TX - MAY 6: Head Coach Jason Kidd of the Dallas Mavericks looks on during Game 3 of the 2022 NBA Playoffs Western Conference Semifinals on May 6, 2022 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE (Photo by Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images)
Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images

Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul played just 23 minutes and fouled out during Sunday's Game 4, which became the primary storyline as the Dallas Mavericks put the finishing touches on a 111-101 victory to even the second-round series.

Mavericks head coach Jason Kidd didn't miss an opportunity to point out there's some irony in place since Paul himself has something of a reputation for embellishing to draw critical fouls.

"We're being taught by one of the best point guards ever on the other side," Kidd told reporters. "That's pretty cool."

Even if Luka Doncic and Co. were flopping at times, the bottom line is the Mavericks were also the better team for the second game in a row.

Doncic notched a double-double with 26 points, 11 assists, seven rebounds and three steals, but his supporting cast also came through in the clutch moments. Dorian Finney-Smith shot a blistering 8-of-12 from deep on his way to 24 points and eight boards, and six Mavericks in all scored in double figures.

That stands in stark contrast to Games 1 and 2 in Phoenix when Doncic averaged 40 points a night but didn't receive nearly enough help to keep pace with the top-seeded Suns.

If Phoenix is looking for a silver lining, it can take solace in the fact that Sunday's game was still hanging in the balance at times in the fourth quarter even with Paul fouling out and Dallas drilling 20 shots from beyond the arc at a 45.5 percent clip.

It doesn't seem particularly likely the Mavericks will be able to replicate that in Phoenix, which would allow the Suns to regain control of the series much like it did in the first round after splitting the opening four contests against the New Orleans Pelicans.

Perhaps Paul will receive a better whistle as well after fouling out, although, as Kidd pointed out, it's not as if the future Hall of Famer hasn't gotten away with some favorable breaks in that category in the past.

Whether he does in Game 5 could set the tone for the rest of the series.