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Suns erupt in fourth quarter to race by Mavericks for 2-0 lead in Western Conference semifinal

  • May 05, 2022

PHOENIX — There were 54 fouls called.

Eleven were offensive, with Phoenix picking up the first seven of them.

There were 30 3-pointers made. Dallas hit 17 of them.

Then there was Chris Paul.

With Deandre Ayton, Devin Booker and JaVale McGee all in foul trouble, the Suns turned to their floor general and once again, Paul delivered in the fourth quarter of Wednesday’s 129-109 win to take a 2-0 series lead in the conference semifinals.

Scoring 28 points, Paul had the sellout crowd of 17,071 rocking in the fourth to fuel Phoenix’s offensive eruption.

The Suns outscored the Mavs 40-26 in the fourth as they led by as many as 26. This after finishing Game 1 poorly in winning by just seven after leading by 21.

Booker finished with 30 points on Wednesday as he hit three 3s in the fourth, with his final one putting Phoenix up 119-95 with 4:13 left.

Phoenix led by six, 89-83, after three quarters thanks to a quick 5-0 burst fueled by Booker.

With Phoenix up two, Booker had an offensive rebound of a missed 3 by Cam Johnson and scored to put the Suns up four. Then Booker found Landry Shamet for 3 to make the difference seven with 33.1 seconds left.

Spencer Dinwiddie split two free throws with 22.7 seconds to end the scoring in the third.

Dallas led 60-58 at the half as Doncic had 24 points at the break after scoring 45 in Game 1. Jae Crowder led the Suns with 15 points in the first half, hitting 3-of-4 from 3.

Crowder hit six 3s on nine attempts in the first five quarters of this Suns-Mavs series. In six games against the Pelicans in the first round, Crowder shot 3-of-26 on 3s.

There were nine offensive fouls called in the first half with the first seven going against Phoenix.

Ayton and McGee each had two while Johnson, Ish Wainright and Paul each had one. Jalen Brunson and Dwight Powell each had one in the first half for Dallas.

Follow Duane Rankin on Twitter @DuaneRankin.

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