Suns hand Mavericks 5th straight defeat
DALLAS (AP) — Chris Paul had 27 points and 12 assists, and the Phoenix Suns rallied to beat the Dallas Mavericks 111-105 on Saturday night.
Deandre Ayton had 18 points and 17 rebounds for the Suns, who trailed by 15 in the second half. Mikal Bridges and Jae Crowder each scored 14 points.
Dallas wasted a terrific performance by Luka Doncic, who scored 18 of his 29 points in the third quarter, including eight straight in a 12-0 run after the teams were tied at halftime. The Mavericks dropped their fifth consecutive game.
Phoenix countered Dallas’ third-quarter run by scoring the first eight points of the fourth to take an 85-82 lead.
The Suns played their fourth straight game without All-Star guard Devin Booker, who is sidelined with a left hamstring strain.
The Mavericks played without Kristaps Porzingis, who sat out the second game of a back-to-back. Dallas’ two remaining big men, Willie Cauley-Stein and Dwight Powell, each fouled out.
After Cauley-Stein’s tip-in at the halftime buzzer tied it at 55, Cauley-Stein hit a short jumper and Dorian Finney-Smith scored on an alley-oop pass from Doncic to put the Mavericks ahead 59-55. Doncic then scored the next eight points to put Dallas ahead 67-55 with 8:07 to play in the third.
Suns: Ayton had his sixth double-double in his last seven games. He was sidelined for part of the first half with a left shoulder injury. … Coach Monty Williams said he expects Booker to return soon but wouldn’t specify a date.
Mavericks: Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 19 points. He made three 3-pointers, giving him 1,001 for his career. ... Dallas shot a season-high 53% from the floor.
The teams meet again in Dallas on Monday night, the Mavericks’ second straight two-game series. They lost at Utah on Wednesday and Friday.
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