Suns start off strong, dominate Dallas in Game 1

Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) celebrates a score against the Dallas Mavericks during the...
Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) celebrates a score against the Dallas Mavericks during the first half of Game 1 in the second round of the NBA Western Conference playoff series Monday, May 2, 2022, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)(Matt York | AP)
Published: May. 2, 2022 at 9:30 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- The Phoenix Suns were dominant and easily took Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals against the Dallas Mavericks on Monday night, 121-114. Deandre Ayton scored at will, ending with 25 points of 12-20 shooting. Devin Booker had a hot start but then cooled off, ending with 23 points. The Suns shot about 50.5% from the field, their sixth consecutive game shooting better than 50%.

The Mavericks made the score a lot closer than the game actually was. The team had a 22-7 run to cut the lead to single digits but not enough time to pull off the win. The Suns kept in their starters until the final whistle.

The Suns used the third quarter to expand their lead, relying on their defense to suffocate the Mavs’ scorers as they only 23 points. Dallas missed eight of 9 field goals toward the end of the third before Spencer Dinwiddie made his first three of the game to cut the lead to 93-78. But Mikal Bridges responded with his own three. After scoring 16 points off the bench in the first half, Maxi Kleber had just one point in the third. Doncic had just six points in the period.

In the second quarter, Jae Crowder got a flagrant 1 for his leg catching Luka Doncic in the groin four minutes into the second quarter. Mavs had a 9-0 run in the middle of the second quarter, 51-47, but Chris Paul worked his magic to get the lead back to 13 with back-to-back jumpers. Doncic had 26 of the Mavs’ 56 points in the first half on 8-18 shooting. Ayton had 19 points to lead the Suns.

The Suns got off to a strong start in the game, seeing their lead balloon to 26-12. Booker came ready to play, scoring 13 points with six rebounds and four assists in that period alone. He also got a technical foul for taunting after blocking Jalen Brunson with about 5 minutes left in the first.