DALLAS — The Phoenix Suns attempted 14 fewer shots from the field.
They turned the ball over 17 times that led to 22 Dallas points.
And Chris Paul committed a season-high seven turnovers on his 37th birthday.
“Felt like all seven of them were back-to-back-to-back, too,” Paul said. “And a couple more back-to-backs right there, too.”
Add Jalen Brunson breaking out with a game-high 28 points to go along with Luka Doncic scoring 26 through foul trouble, Phoenix dropped Friday’s Game 3 of the Western Conference semifinals, 103-94, before a sellout crowd of 20,777 at American Airlines Center.
“I think we tallied quickly to 38 points off of (turnovers and offensive rebounds),” said Suns coach Monty Williams as Suns gave up eight offensive rebounds and 16 second-chance points.
“Just felt like they brought a great deal of effort along with them coming up with those tip outs or 50/50 balls, whatever the case was. We missed, I think by our calculations, around 20 shots around the basket that we normally make.”
Game 4 is 12:30 p.m. (Arizona time) Sunday afternoon in Dallas followed by Game 5 at 7 p.m. Tuesday in Phoenix.
“Just understanding the situation, understanding that we’ve been in (a playoff) series before,” said Devin Booker, who committed five turnovers. “We were up 2-0 coming to their home floor and people want to see more basketball games. So we’re going to play some more basketball.”
Now up 2-1 in this best-of-7, the top-seeded Suns shot less than 50% for the first time in the postseason. They connected on 44.7% of their shots f, going 13-of-28 from 3.
Fourth-seeded Dallas only committed eight turnovers and led by as many as 18 points, but Phoenix got within eight with 1:09 left before Reggie Bullock closed the door with a 3 with 55 seconds remaining
“It was a great team win,” Mavs coach Jason Kidd said. “JB, Spencer (Dinwiddie), Maxi (Kleber), Luka, Reggie, everybody joined the party. They helped out on both ends and Luka was great defensively. He participated, too. Puts us in a different position when that happens.”
Jae Crowder scored a team-high 19 points, hitting 5-of-8 from 3, to lead the Suns while Booker added 18.
The Suns played without Torrey Craig, who suffered an elbow injury in Game 2.
“They just wanted it a little tad bit more,” Crowder said. “They played harder. They played more aggressive.”
The one number Phoenix had going in its favor was Doncic being in foul trouble.
Doncic picked up his fifth in the fourth with Dallas leading by 17 points with 8:07 remaining. He literally sat on the court in reaction.
“I don’t think those were fouls,” Doncic said. “I mean, it’s playoffs. It’s a physical game, but the fifth foul? I don’t know the last time somebody called a fifth foul on that.”