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    Suns assert mastery of Mavs as CP3 takes charge in fourth

    May 5, 2022
    Chris Paul, 36, plays 36 minutes, shooting 11 for 16.

    PHOENIX — Chris Paul scored 28 points, including 14 in another spectacular fourth quarter, to lead the Phoenix Suns over the Dallas Mavericks, 129-109, on Wednesday night (Thursday, Manila time) for a 2-0 lead in the Western Conference semifinals.

    Paul — a 12-time All-Star who turns 37 years old on Friday — almost single-handedly turned a tight game into a comfortable victory, the Suns' 11th win in a row against the Mavericks counting regular-season games.

    See Heat take control early, ease to 2-0 series lead over 76ers

    The Mavs led 60-58 at halftime but the Suns quickly recaptured the lead after Devin Booker hit back-to-back 3-pointers early in the third. The Suns took an 89-83 advantage going into the final quarter and it looked like a tough fight was coming.

    But that's about the time Paul decided the game was his to control, hitting six shots in a row on everything from 3-pointers to mid-range jumpers to layups. The feisty Mavericks finally didn't have an answer. Booker hit a pair of 3-pointers midway through the fourth to give the Suns a 114-95 lead.

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    Booker led the Suns with 30 points on 11-of-19 shooting, including 5 of 8 from 3-point range. The Suns shot 64.5 percent overall and made 52% of their 3-pointers.

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    Game Three is on Friday in Dallas.

    Devin BookerDevin Booker goes 11 for 19 in 36 minutes of action.


      The Mavericks will go home in a 2-0 hole, desperately needing contributions from someone other than Luka Doncic, who scored 35 points on 13-of-22 shooting two nights after a 45-point performance in Game 1. Reggie Bullock added 16 points.

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      The Suns jumped out to a 9-0 lead for a second straight game, but the Mavericks had a better response than in Game One.

      Dallas slowly fought back and Spencer Dinwiddie hit a pair of free throws to tie the game at 38. Davis Bertans followed with a 3-pointer with 7:56 left in the second quarter to give the Mavs a 41-38 advantage and their first lead of the series.

      The Mavs took a two-point lead after a foul-filled first half. Doncic scored 24 before the break on 9-of-14 shooting, including 4 of 7 from 3-point range. Crowder led the Suns with 15.


      Mavericks: Bertans gave the Mavs good minutes in the first half, scoring nine points and going 3 of 6 from beyond the arc. ... Doncic briefly turned and stared down a Suns heckler late in the third quarter when he was walking off the playing floor into the tunnel. Doncic was quickly ushered away from the fan by Dallas team personnel.

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      Suns: Shot 64.7% from the field in the first quarter. ... Jae Crowder picked up a technical foul in the second quarter. Ayton was called for a flagrant 1 foul after being called for an offensive foul, catching Dwight Powell in the face with his elbow. ... Phoenix hosted a sellout crowd for a 31st straight game.

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      Chris Paul, 36, plays 36 minutes, shooting 11 for 16.
      PHOTO: AP
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