NBA regular season

Durant stays perfect with Suns after narrow win over Irving, Mavericks

Durant stays perfect with Suns after narrow win over Irving, Mavericks

NEW SQUAD. Kevin Durant leads the charge for the Suns.

Jerome Miron/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Kevin Durant comes up clutch against former teammate Kyrie Irving and the Mavericks to notch his third straight win with the Suns

Kevin Durant scored 2 of his game-high 37 points on a go-ahead pull-up jumper with 12.1 seconds remaining and the Phoenix Suns secured their third straight win in a 130-126 defeat of the host Dallas Mavericks on Sunday, March 5 (Monday, March 6, Manila time).

After the jumper, Durant grabbed his seventh rebound of the afternoon when Luka Doncic missed a would-be game-tying shot attempt with six seconds remaining. Durant’s subsequent foul shots put the win away for Phoenix, which closed out a four-game road swing at 3-1 – and a perfect 3-0 since Durant joined the lineup.

Acquired in a trade from Brooklyn last month, Durant’s debut was delayed until Wednesday due to an MCL sprain. Sunday marked the former Most Valuable Player’s highest-scoring performance since joining the Suns lineup.

He combined with Devin Booker to score more than half of Phoenix’s points on Sunday with 73. Booker recorded 36 points in his third consecutive outing with at least 35. Booker also dished 10 assists to complete a double-double.

Chris Paul added 11 points, passed for 7 assists, and grabbed 6 rebounds. Josh Okogie and Deandre Ayton each scored 9 points, while Ayton snared a game-high 16 rebounds.

The Suns rallied from down 6 points with 6:51 remaining, when Durant’s former Brooklyn teammate, Kyrie Irving, sank a three-pointer for part of his 30-point effort.

One game after setting a franchise record as the first Mavericks teammates to reach 40 points or more in the same contest, Irving and Doncic combined for 64 points on Sunday. Doncic finished with a team-high 34 points to go with his team-leading 9 rebounds, but he shot just 1-of-9 from three-point range – including a last-ditch effort attempt after Durant’s made foul shots in the waning seconds.

Tim Hardaway Jr. came off the bench to score 21 points and shot 6-of-8 from 3-point range. Christian Wood scored 17 points and Reggie Bullock added 10 for Dallas.

Phoenix finished 49-for-89 from the field (55.1%) and won the rebounding battle 41-31. Ish Wainwright chipped in 12 points off the bench. –

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