NBA playoffs

Suns down Mavericks with blistering third quarter

Suns down Mavericks with blistering third quarter

BIG GUNS. The Suns' Devin Booker reacts after a three-point basket against the Mavericks' Luka Doncic.

Joe Camporeale/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

The Suns reclaim the Western Conference semis series lead from Luka Doncic and the Mavs

Devin Booker fired 28 points and led a third-quarter surge as the host Phoenix Suns defeated the Dallas Mavericks, 110-80, to take a 3-2 lead in their Western Conference semifinal series on Tuesday night, May 10 (Wednesday, May 11, Manila time)

Booker scored 12 points in the key run and Deandre Ayton, who finished with 20 points, added 8 as the Suns outscored the Mavericks, 33-14, in the third quarter to take command. Mikal Bridges and Cameron Johnson wound up with 14 points each and Chris Paul had 10 assists and 7 points.

The Suns can advance to the conference finals by winning Game 6 on Thursday, but that would require the first victory by the visiting team in the series.

Luka Doncic had 28 points and 11 rebounds, Jalen Brunson scored 21, and Davis Bertans added 10 to lead the Mavericks, who shot just 8-of-32 on three-point attempts after making 20-of-44 in their 111-101 victory in Game 5 on Sunday.

Doncic’s jumper started the third-quarter scoring and pulled Dallas within 49-48. Then the Mavericks went cold.

Ayton had four baskets and Booker made two three-pointers and a free throw during a 17-0 run that gave the Suns a 68-50 lead.

Doncic made one of two free throws to stop the run and added a three-pointer for the Mavericks’ first basket in nearly six minutes to trim the lead to 14.

But Johnson made baskets to start and complete a 14-6 run that gave Phoenix an 82-60 lead at the end of the third quarter. The Suns outscored the Mavericks, 61-34, in the second half.

Dorian Finney-Smith hit two three-pointers and Doncic and Maxi Kleber made one each as the Mavericks took a 24-16 first-quarter lead.

Booker scored 4 straight Phoenix points as the Suns trimmed the deficit to 26-23 at the end of the quarter.

Phoenix got within a point before Bertans scored 7 straight Dallas points to push the lead to 38-30.

Ayton and Booker scored 4 points each as Phoenix pulled even at 40 late in the second quarter.

The score was tied twice more before the Suns took a 49-46 halftime lead. –

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