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The Dallas Mavericks kept their season alive with a 113-86 win over the Phoenix Suns in Game 6 of the Western Conference Semifinals on Thursday, and it was largely thanks to the bully-ball played by star point guard Luka Doncic.
The 23-year-old dissected the Suns defense to finish with 33 points, 11 rebounds, eight assists and four steals. With Doncic leading the charge, the Mavericks shot a scorching 41 percent from three-point range.
Doncic wasn’t only praised for his production on Thursday, but also his attitude when facing potential elimination.
Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young, who is forever tied to Doncic after they were traded for each other in the 2018 NBA draft, couldn’t help but to be among the many people who admired the energy Doncic played with to help his team live to fight another day.
Trae Young @TheTraeYoung
Luka backing that Talk up!!!
He cookin these dudes😂
Jason McIntyre @jasonrmcintyre
Luka wants all the smoke.
He wants the iso with Bridges, CP3, Crowder, everyone. Nobody can check him
Hope G7 is a good one
Luka Is Playing How You Should Play Facing Elimination… I’ll Route For Guys Like That💯
Mike Leslie @MikeLeslieWFAA
Luka. Playing angry, and dominating.
Black Big Lebowski @LaJethroJenkins
Luka is bullying every single player that matches up with him in the most disrespectful way he can come up with.
Bleacher Report @BleacherReport
Luka numbers 📈 pic.twitter.com/EMLuZa2sGW
ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo
Luka Dončić has his 5th playoff game with 30 points, 10 rebounds, and 5 assists, breaking a tie with Dirk Nowitzki for the most in Mavs postseason history.
Nowitzki’s 4 games came across 145 games in his playoff career; Luka needed just 22 to pass him. pic.twitter.com/L6pkQ151p1
Bobby Karalla @bobbykaralla
The Luka’s special.
Jason Gallagher @jga41agher
The Luka Special pic.twitter.com/7AXAYKPvxu
Tim MacMahon @espn_macmahon
Luka Doncic took the ball from Chris Paul on one end and then backed him down for a bucket on the other. Get ready for Game 7.
Mark Gunnels @MarkAGunnels
I’m not betting against Luka in Game 7.
Facing the top-seeded Suns, the Mavericks weren’t expected to put up this much of a fight. Game 7 will be in Phoenix, and Dallas has struggled away from home in this series. But the team has an ace in its pocket in Doncic.
The last time Doncic was faced with a Game 7, he poured in 46 points and 14 assists. It can be expected that he will be locked in once again in another win-or-go-home scenario.
Dallas has the chance to pull off the biggest upset of this year’s playoffs. Doncic will have to be at his absolute best if the Mavericks hope to advance to the Western Conference Finals for the first time since the team’s 2011 championship run.