Luka Doncic makes history as Mavericks force Game 7 against Suns; Heat eliminate 76ers

    Luka Doncic dunks the ball against the Phoenix Suns in the Mavericks' dominating Game 6 win.

    (CNN)The Dallas Mavericks forced a Game 7 in the Western Conference semis, blowing out the Phoenix Suns 113-86 on Thursday night to level the best-of-seven series at 3-3.

    Luka Doncic, facing the first elimination game of his young career, came up big with 33 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists to drag the Mavs to a deciding game back in Phoenix on Sunday.
    In what has become an increasingly chippy series -- in particular between the two young stars from each team, the Suns' Devin Booker and Doncic -- it was the Slovenian guard who seemed to feed off that energy to raise his game.
      The 23-year-old shot 11-for-26 from the field, including 2-for-8 from deep and 9-for-14 from the free-throw line, on his way to a dominating performance.
        Doncic led the way in the Mavs' dominating victory over the Suns.
        Mavericks head coach Jason Kidd praised Doncic's ability to remain unflappable while facing playoff elimination.
        "I don't know if he was playing as if he was trying to do something different," Kidd told the media. "I think he enjoys the moment.
        "You guys have seen a little bit longer than I have up close. He's not afraid of the stage. I think you guys call it the first time winning an elimination game. He'll be in this situation a long, long time."
          It was a historic evening for Doncic too, as he became one of the fastest players in NBA history to reach 700 playoff points.
          Doncic took 22 games to reach the milestone, putting him in the top-five quickest players to achieve the feat.
          George Mikan did it in 23 games, Doncic is tied with Bob McAdoo on 22 games, and only Hall of Famers Wilt Chamberlain and Michael Jordan have done it faster, in 20 games.
          Deandre Ayton led the scoring sheet for the Suns with 21 points and 11 rebounds, while Booker added 19.
          The Mavericks' victory on Thursday night continues the trend of the home team winning all their games this series, leaving the Suns with a strong chance of claiming Game 7 on their home court and advancing to their second straight Western Conference finals.
          Doncic shoots over Phoenix Suns forward Torrey Craig.

          The Heat is on in Philly

          Across the country, the Miami Heat advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals on Thursday, beating the Philadelphia 76ers 99-90 in Game 6.
          Jimmy Butler led all scorers with 32 points, to go along with eight rebounds, as the Heat closed out the best-of-seven series, 4-2.
          The victory was particularly sweet for Butler, who played for the 76ers in the 2018/19 season. After the game, as he made his way to the locker room, Butler could be heard saying, "Tobias Harris over me," a reference to Philadelphia's decision to trade Butler to the Heat in 2019 and choosing to sign Harris to a huge contract instead.
          Afterwards, he praised the effect the Heat organization has had on his overall play.
          "I think the confidence my teammates and my coaches put in me, it's a lot," Butler said. "They really be hyping me up out there and I just go play. I try everything in my power to make sure that we win ... They just trust me with everything."
          Butler smiles after the Heat's series win against the Philadelphia 76ers.