Dallas took back home-court advantage when they beat the Suns in Game 3 of the series 2 days ago. As the games are played in every 2 days, situation for the Suns gets harder and harder, as the fatigue factor becomes more and more a factor for them. In Game 2, the Suns seemed to get tired at the half way through the final quarter, but in Game 3 they looked like dead already in the 3rd Q.
Phoenix has had most difficult play-offs of those 4 teams that are still alive. They have played maximum number of games in first two rounds with almost all of them being close fights til dying seconds. It does not help that the Suns have also suffered injuries, which makes already short bench almost non-existent. Raja Bell will be out for tonight`s game and most probably Kurt Thomas is also not ready to play yet. So yet again Phoenix will play with 7 players (with Eddie House getting max. 15 minutes) and most probably run out of gas at one point.
The Mavericks learned from their mistakes in Game 1 and have shut down Phoenix`s offense in last 2 games. With their transition defense allowing the Suns only four fast-break points in Game 3 and none in the second half, they have taken the biggest advantage away from the Suns. Offensively Dallas has never had much problems with the Suns, so be sure the Mavs know that in order to win they need to concentrate on taking away the Suns easy drives to the basket and stay strong at the defensive end.
Playing time is the biggest factor here. Dallas needs to keep this game close in the first half. They will have much more energy left in them for the 2nd half and will most probably take full advantage of it. Phoenix knows that losing this game means losing the series (as there is no comeback for them from 1-3 hole with the Mavs having 2 home games in hand). Nevertheless, tough road in play-offs will take its toll tonight and we expect Dallas to secure dominant series lead with a win in Game 4. Medium+ stakes!
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