Suns explode in 3rd quarter, cruise to win over Dallas in Game 5

Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) dunks against Dallas Mavericks guard Jalen Brunson (13),...
Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) dunks against Dallas Mavericks guard Jalen Brunson (13), Mavericks forwards Maxi Kleber (42) and Dorian Finney-Smith, right, during the first half of Game 5 of an NBA basketball second-round playoff series Tuesday, May 10, 2022, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)(Ross D. Franklin | AP)
Published: May. 10, 2022 at 9:25 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) — The Phoenix Suns outscored the Dallas Mavericks by 19 points in the third quarter and cruised to an easy win in Game 5, 110-80, in the Valley of the Sun. The Suns now have a 3-2 series edge. Devin Booker showed why he was in the MVP conversation, scoring 28 points on 11-20 shooting with seven rebounds and two steals.

The third quarter was the turning point for the Suns. After the Mavs cut the Suns’ lead to one, Phoenix went on a 17-0 run, which included three buckets from Deandre Ayton inside and two Booker three-pointers, making it a 68-50 edge with 5:25 left in the third. Also during the run, Booker went hard to the basket and was fouled by Dorian Finney-Smith. Referees ruled it was a flagrant 1. With nine seconds left in the quarter, Mikal Bridges got a steal and set up Cameron Johnson for an alley-oop dunk, giving the Suns an 82-60 lead. Phoenix outscored the Mavs 33-14 in the quarter. Mavs didn’t do much in the fourth quarter. Game 6 is on Thursday in Dallas.

Chris Paul didn’t score his first basket until about four minutes into the second quarter. A Bridges jumper and a Booker dunk with 3:47 left in the second tied the game at 40. Then Johnson hit a three-pointer with 1:48 left in the half to give the Suns their first lead, 47-45, since it was 3-2 in the first. Ayton had six points and six rebounds in the quarter. Johnson had five off the bench. During the first half, the Suns only shot 4-14 from 3, while Dallas wasn’t much better at 6-16.

The Mavericks started off hot in the first quarter for the third straight game, with a 10-3 run. Doncic had five of the first 10 points for Dallas. Bridges had only six points in Game 4 but had six points in the first quarter on two 3s. The Suns missed three-straight 3s to end the quarter and were down 26-23. Booker had 12 points in the quarter and Doncic had 11. Ayton only played five minutes.

NBA Coach of the Year Monty Williams switched things up for the Suns line-up-wise. Cameron Payne didn’t play until the game was already in the bag and Javale McGee only saw three minutes of action. Williams went with Bismack Biyombo off the bench, seeing 18 minutes of playing time, scoring seven points, and was +20 in the plus-minus category.