Saturday, February 4, 2023

NBA: Suns overcome Luka Doncic, Mavericks in Game 1


Devin Booker #1 of the Phoenix Suns reacts after scoring in opposition to the Dallas Mavericks throughout the first half of Game One of many Western Convention Second Spherical NBA Playoffs at Footprint Heart on Could 02, 2022 in Phoenix, Arizona. Christian Petersen/Getty Photographs/AFP

Deandre Ayton scored a team-high 25 factors and the Phoenix Suns dominated the visiting Dallas Mavericks on the boards en path to a 121-114 victory in Game 1 of their Western Convention semifinal collection Monday evening.

Devin Booker contributed 23 factors to a balanced assault, with 9 rebounds and eight assists. Chris Paul had 19 factors, Cam Johnson 17, Mikal Bridges 13 and Jae Crowder 11 because the top-seeded Suns held serve in a best-of-seven that continues Wednesday in Phoenix.

Luka Doncic completed with 45 factors — one shy of his postseason career-high — for the Mavericks, who had been outrebounded 51-36 and misplaced regardless of outscoring the host 48-33 on 3-pointers.

Coming off a hard-fought win over the New Orleans Pelicans in six video games, the Suns wasted no time gaining the higher hand on the fourth-seeded Mavericks, scoring the sport’s first 9 factors. Crowder contributed a 3-pointer to cap the run.

Phoenix went on to guide by as many as 15 later in the primary quarter, 18 in the third interval and 106-85 on a dunk by JaVale McGee with 8:48 remaining earlier than coasting dwelling.

With Ayton hitting 12 of his 20 pictures, the Suns outshot the Mavericks 50.5 p.c to 47.1 p.c. Phoenix led the NBA with a 52.3 p.c taking pictures share in the primary spherical, whereas Dallas allowed simply 44.3 p.c taking pictures, third-best in the league, in its opening-round win over the Utah Jazz.

The Suns additionally helped themselves with 13 offensive rebounds and an ideal (18-for-18) on the free throw line, with Booker going 8-for-8.

Ayton picked up proper the place he left off in the primary spherical, when he had 4 20-plus-point video games, with a excessive of 28. He and Crowder every had eight rebounds.

Doncic was the sport’s main rebounder with 12, finishing his ninth double-double in 17 playoff video games. He missed a fourth profession postseason triple-double by two assists.

His 45 factors gave him six 40-point playoff video games. His postseason career-high of 46 got here final yr in Game 7 of Dallas’ opening-round loss to the Los Angeles Clippers.

Maxi Kleber chipped in with 19 factors for Dallas, which additionally misplaced Game 1 in the Utah collection earlier than rallying to take 4 of the subsequent 5. Dorian Finney-Smith added 15 factors and Jalen Brunson 13.


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