Deandre Ayton, Devin Booker lead top-seeded Suns past Mavericks

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After a quick hiatus, the Phoenix Suns that bulldozed by way of the regular-season schedule made an look on Monday night time.

Deandre Ayton scored 25 factors, Devin Booker added 23 and the top-seeded Suns rolled to a 121-114 win over the Dallas Mavericks in Recreation 1 of the Western Convention semifinals.

The Suns by no means trailed, leaping to a 9-0 lead within the opening minutes and staying on the gasoline till the ultimate minutes. They shot 50.5% from the sphere, gained the rebounding edge 51-36 and beat the Mavericks for the tenth straight time, counting common season video games.

Phoenix had just a few hiccups late — making the ultimate rating a bit of nearer than it ought to have been — however the Suns regarded rather more just like the crew that set a franchise document with 64 wins through the season.


Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) celebrates a score against the Dallas Mavericks during the first half of Game 1 in the second round of the NBA Western Conference playoff series Monday, May 2, 2022, in Phoenix.

Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) celebrates a rating towards the Dallas Mavericks through the first half of Recreation 1 within the second spherical of the NBA Western Convention playoff collection Monday, Could 2, 2022, in Phoenix.
(AP Picture/Matt York)

“We’ll take the win,” Suns level guard Chris Paul mentioned. “It’s not always going to be pretty. We played well most of the game. We’ll look at the film tomorrow and see what we need to do differently for Game 2.”

Luka Doncic led the Mavericks with 45 factors, 12 rebounds and eight assists. It’s the primary time Dallas has superior to the postseason’s second spherical in Doncic’s four-year NBA profession.

Doncic and Maxi Kleber regarded prepared for the problem however the remainder of the Mavs didn’t do a lot till it was too late. Kleber completed with 19 factors.

“I thought Maxi and Luka in that first half kept us afloat,” Mavericks coach Jason Kidd mentioned. “We could have easily been down 39 at halftime but Maxi and LD were good. LD was good in the second half, too.

“We have simply obtained to get somebody to affix the social gathering.”

Game 2 is on Wednesday in Phoenix.

Booker missed three games during Phoenix’s tougher-than-expected first-round win over the New Orleans Pelicans because of a strained right hamstring. He returned for the closeout Game 6 and scored 13 points, but looked a little more cautious than usual in his effort to stay healthy.

That hesitancy was gone in the first quarter on Monday: Booker scored 13 points on 4 of 8 shooting and added six rebounds and four assists.

Ayton dominated in the paint and mid-range, hitting his usual array of turnaround jumpers, runners and dunks. The 6-foot-11 center shot 12 of 20 from the field. Paul added 19 points and Cam Johnson had 17 off the bench.

“I preferred the truth that we weren’t settling for 3s tonight,” Suns coach Monty Williams said. “A whole lot of guys had been attacking the paint, we had been getting floaters and rim photographs.”

All 5 Suns starters scored in double figures.

The Suns’ opening salvo was highlighted by a Jae Crowder 3-pointer and Booker’s lob go to Mikal Bridges for a dunk. Phoenix prolonged its result in 18-6 halfway by way of the primary quarter earlier than a discombobulated Dallas known as timeout.

The Mavericks stayed within the sport for some time because of Doncic and Kleber, who hit his first 4 3-pointers. The pair helped Dallas pull inside 51-47 halfway by way of the second however the Suns completed the half with one other run, going into the break with a 69-56 lead.


Doncic was gradual to rise up within the second quarter after taking a knee to the groin from Jae Crowder, who was taking pictures a 3-pointer and known as for the offensive foul.

After an official overview, Crowder’s foul was upgraded to a Flagrant 1.


Suns backup heart JaVale McGee introduced the group to its toes early within the fourth quarter with a uncommon defensive play on the perimeter.

He stole the ball from Doncic after which dribbled the size of the ground, ending with a robust dunk to place the Suns up 21 factors.


Mavericks: Doncic scored 14 factors within the first quarter on 5 of 9 taking pictures. … Kleber hit 5 of 6 3-pointers within the first half and had 16 factors earlier than the break. … Kleber took a scary fall within the fourth quarter after being bumped by JaVale McGee whereas ending a dunk. Kleber landed on his higher again and was shaken up for just a few seconds earlier than taking his free throw.

Suns: Crowder hit a 3-pointer within the second quarter then turned and began celebrating with former Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald, who was sitting courtside. Fitzgerald is a part-owner of the franchise. … It was the thirtieth consecutive sellout on the Footprint Heart, relationship again to the common season. … Improved to 51-0 this season when main after three quarters, together with a 4-0 mark within the playoffs.

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