PHOENIX – Make it 10 a row over Dallas.
The Phoenix Suns extended their winning streak against the Mavericks in taking Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals series, 121-114, Monday night before a sellout crowd of 17,071 at Footprint Center.
The Suns have now won their last 10 games against the Mavericks with this being the first in the postseason.
Deandre Ayton feasted on the fourth-seeded Mavs with 25 points and Devin Booker posted a near triple-double with 23 points, nine rebounds and eight assists in his second game back after missing three straight games in the first round against the Pelicans with a strained right hamstring.
Chris Paul added 19 points as he hit two huge shots to keep the Mavericks at bay when the Suns were going in reverse offensively.
His 3-pointer with 5:16 left gave the Suns a 109-93 lead. He later hit a twisting 15-footer that answered Luka Doncic’s 3 to put the Suns ahead, 111-98 with 3:19 left.
Mavericks coach Jason Kidd called a timeout after Paul’s bucket. The Suns missed five shots in between those two Paul baskets.
Doncic scored a game-high 45 as his dunk cut Phoenix’s lead to six with 53.4 seconds left before Booker answered with two free throws with 47.3 seconds remaining.
He later hit a 3 with 10.5 seconds left that pulled the Mavs within five, but Booker connected on a pair of free throws.
Game 2 is Wednesday in Phoenix before the series shifts to Dallas for Friday’s Game 3.
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The Suns swept the three games they played against the Mavericks in the regular season, but trailed heading into the fourth quarter of each one.
They didn’t have to rally in the fourth Monday night.
The top-seeded Suns led 69-56 at the half as Ayton and Booker had 19 and 15 points, respectively, at the half.
Crowder scored 11 points in the first half on 4-of-5 shooting after being ice cold in the first round against the Pelicans.
He shot 31.4% from the field in six games against New Orleans, going 3-of-26 from 3.
Cameron Payne also located his shooting touch as he too struggled from the field in the first round.
The Suns backup point guard hit 3-of-4 from the floor in scoring six points. Against New Orleans, he made just 29.5% of his field goal attempts, going 3-of-19 on 3s.
Suns fans explode after JaVale McGee’s coast-to-coast dunk
JaVale McGee isn’t a good ball handler in the open floor. So in the rare moment he pushes the rock for a dunk, their fans have every reason to celebrate.
As the routines of the Mavericks continued early in the fourth quarter, Cam Johnson dunked in his 15th point off Cameron Payne’s assist at the 9:13 mark to push the Suns’ lead up to 104-85. Twenty-one seconds later on the Mavericks ensuing possession, McGee stripped the ball from Luka Doncic on an isolation play and took it to the house for a breakaway slam.
That play blew the roof off the Footprint Center.
This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Phoenix Suns defeat Dallas Mavericks in Game 1 of NBA playoff series