The Japan Times

Mavs, Sixers get even in semifinals

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The Dallas Mavericks hit 20 three-pointers and again neutralize­d Phoenix point guard Chris Paul to beat the top-seeded Suns 111101 on Sunday and knot their Western Conference semifinal series at two games each.

Star guard Luka Doncic scored 26 points and Dorian Finney-Smith added 24 for Dallas, which has won two games at home to even the best-of-seven series after dropping the first two games in Phoenix.

The Suns, who finished the regular season with the best record in the league, will try to regain the advantage when they host Game 5 on Tuesday. The series is guaranteed to shift back to Dallas for Game 6 on Thursday.

Devin Booker led the Suns with 35 points. Jae Crowder added 15 and Deandre Ayton scored 14.

But the Mavericks bench outscored the Phoenix reserves 36-26.

“This team was amazing,” said Doncic, who was outstandin­g but received little support in the Mavs’ two series-opening defeats. “Everybody that gets to the court leaves everything out there. If we play hard and we get stops, we’re a dangerous team.”

The Philadelph­ia 76ers also won a second straight game at home and pulled even with the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference semifinals. Former NBA MVP James Harden scored 31 points to lead six Philadelph­ia players in double figures in a 116-108 victory.

Center Joel Embiid, who missed the first two games with a concussion and facial fracture, scored 24 points, his presence again making things tougher for Miami defensivel­y.

“The organizati­on on offense, it helps a lot with him on the floor,” said Philadelph­ia’s Danny Green, who made three 3-pointers on the way to 11 points. “Without him we look a little discombobu­lated.”

Embiid carried the Sixers early, scoring 15 points in the first quarter. Harden, who didn’t score in the opening period, took over with 13 points in the second.

 ?? USA TODAY / VIA REUTERS ?? Mavericks guard Luka Doncic scored 26 points against the Suns in Game 4 in Dallas on Sunday.
USA TODAY / VIA REUTERS Mavericks guard Luka Doncic scored 26 points against the Suns in Game 4 in Dallas on Sunday.

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