Mavericks force Game 7 with Suns; Heat beat 76ers to advance
DALLAS — Luka Doncic scored 33 points and the Dallas Mavericks beat the Phoenix Suns 113-86 on Thursday night to force a Game 7 in the Western Conference semifinals.
The home team has won all six games, none with a final margin closer than seven points. The deciding game is Sunday in Phoenix.
The Mavericks won when facing elimination for the first time in three tries with Doncic, their three-time All-Star.
The two losses came against the Clippers the past two seasons, including Game 7 in Los Angeles last year after the visitors won the first six games, a first in the playoffs. Dallas is playing beyond the first round for the first time since winning the title 11 years ago.
The Suns, seeking a second consecutive trip to the West finals, are going the distance in a series for the first time in two postseasons with Chris Paul and Devin Booker. The previous three went six, including Phoenix’s loss to Milwaukee last year in the NBA Finals.
The top-seeded Suns were held to a season low in scoring, regular season or playoffs, for the second time in the series.
Booker scored 19 points but was shut out from 3-point range (0 of 4) while going 6 of 17. Deandre Ayton had 21 points and 11 rebounds, and Paul added 13 points.
HEAT 99, 76ERS 90
PHILADELPHIA — Jimmy Butler scored 32 points and Miami advanced to the Eastern Conference finals, beating Philadelphia in Game 6.
The Heat will play the winner of the Milwaukee-Boston series. The defending champion Bucks lead that series 3-2, with Game 6 on Friday night in Milwaukee.
Miami reached the conference finals for the second time in three seasons, again with Butler leading the charge after he left the 76ers after the 2018-19 season. He scored 14 points on 6-of-9 shooting in the third quarter when the Heat used a 16-2 run to take control.
Joel Embiid scored 20 points for Philadelphia on 7-of-24 shooting.