PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) — The Phoenix Suns took a 2-0 lead in the West Semifinals after defeating the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday night 129-109. Devin Booker finished with 30 points and Chris Paul ended the night with 28 points. The Suns will travel to Dallas looking to take a commanding 3-0 lead in the series. Luka Doncic and company weren’t able to even the series despite an impressive performance from Doncic, who finished with 35 points.
With just under 10 minutes in the fourth, Chris Paul drove to the basket to make a two-point shot against Doncic to give the Suns a comfortable 97-89 lead. Doncic looked visibly frustrated after the basket but quickly picked up a free throw. Doncic responded with a long three to cut the lead. However, on the next play, a bad pass by Doncic ended up with the Point God stealing the ball and finishing with a lob to Mikal Bridges for the dunk. Paul was red hot in the fourth quarter, finishing 6/7 from the field.
To open up the third quarter, Booker made back-to-back threes to retake the lead. Both teams went scoreless for nearly two minutes before Crowder found Suns big man JaVale McGee inside the paint for a dunk. McGee then finished with another layup with an assist from Crowder. Back-to-back threes from the Mavericks Reggie Bullock tied the game at 78 apiece, but a step-back jump shot by Paul and a shot by Cameron Johnson quickly put the Suns up again.
The Suns were down at halftime, 60-58, after Doncic’s big first half. Doncic scored 24 points to push the Mavericks past the Suns in, scoring the last nine points of the half. The Suns first-half hero was Jae Crowder, who put up 15 points, including three 3-pointers. The Suns starters seemed ice cold in the first half, with Booker, Bridges, Ayton and Paul putting up single-digit points.
The Suns came out to play in the first quarter after Bridges found Ayton inside the paint and Ayton finished with a picture-perfect dunk. The Mavericks went scoreless in the first three minutes of the game before Doncic finally put up a two-point shot to put the Mavs on the board. Booker was double-teamed by Jalen Brunson and Randy Bullock before going for the two-point shot while falling backward and the shot was good. Booker did his iconic pose laying on the ground, much like the game-winning shot over Kawhi Leonard to defeat the Clippers last season.
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