The Phoenix Suns were the No. 1 overall seed in the NBA playoffs after winning a franchise-record 64 games during the 2021-22 regular season, but they were shockingly blown out at home 123-90 (and it wasn't that close) by the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday night in Game 7 of the Western Conference semifinals. The league is now down to its Final Four with Caesars Sportsbook favoring an exact NBA Finals result of Golden State Warriors over Boston Celtics at +260.
The Mavericks' 33-point win on Sunday was the second-largest margin of victory in a series-clinching game against the league's best regular-season team in history. In 1948, the Philadelphia Warriors won by 39 points over the St. Louis Bombers in the BAA semifinals. Following its third season, 1948-49, the BAA absorbed most of National Basketball League (NBL) and rebranded as the NBA.
This year probably was the last best chance for 37-year-old Suns point guard and likely future first-ballot Hall-of-Famer Chris Paul to finally win a championship, but he looked flat-out old in the final four games of the Mavericks series. His plus-minus rating of minus-39 on Sunday was the worst in his NBA career in any game, regular-season or playoffs.
Paul-led teams have now lost four straight Game 7s, and he has been on the wrong end of five series losses after leading 2-0. No other player has done that in best-of-7 series. Paul says he's not retiring but was absolutely eviscerated on ESPN this morning by Timberwolves point guard Patrick Beverley – that's why Beverley is trending big time on social media right now.
The Eastern Conference Finals begin Tuesday in Miami and even though the Heat are the East's top seed and thus have home-court advantage, they are +155 underdogs on the series line against the Celtics (-175). Boston in six is the +275 favored exact result.
Should Miami reach the NBA Finals, it also would have home-court advantage against either West champion. Miami would have home-court advantage over Dallas in the NBA Finals but would not against Golden State by virtue of losing both regular-season games against the Warriors. Boston wouldn't have it against either.
Golden State hosts Dallas in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals on Wednesday with the Warriors as -250 favorites on the series line and the Mavericks +200, even though Dallas won three of four in the regular-season series. Luka Doncic averaged 31.5 points, 9.0 rebounds and 5.5 assists in those four games. While Steph Curry played in all four for the Warriors, Draymond Green – who surely will be guarding Doncic more often than not – only played in one. Warriors in seven is the +275 favorite.
Boston over Golden State is the +300 second favorite on the exact NBA Finals result. Those teams split in the regular season. The longest shot is Dallas over Miami at +2000.
Curry is the +200 Finals MVP favorite followed by the Celtics' Jayson Tatum at +300. The long shot is the Mavericks' Spencer Dinwiddie at +200000.
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