PHOENIX — — Devin Booker scored 28 points, Deandre Ayton added 20 and the Phoenix Suns beat the Dallas Mavericks 110-80 on Tuesday night to take a 3-2 lead in the Western Conference semifinals.
The Suns used a huge third quarter to turn a tight game into a comfortable win. Phoenix opened up the second half on an 11-4 run, highlighted by Booker’s two 3-pointers, for a 61-50 lead.
Mavs coach Jason Kidd called for a timeout, but it did little to stop the onslaught. The Suns led 82-60 going into the fourth with Booker pouring in 12 points during the third.
While the Suns were finally finding some offensive continuity, the Mavs completely lost theirs, scoring just four points in the first six minutes of the third. At times, the Dallas offense regressed to mostly watching Luka Doncic try and work magic, but he couldn’t do it all by himself.
The Mavs had 12 turnovers during the third quarter.
The top-seeded Suns bounced back after dropping the previous two games and can win the series in Game 6 on Thursday in Dallas.
Doncic finished with 28 points and 11 rebounds. Jalen Brunson added 21 points. The Mavs shot just 38% from the field.
The Suns took a hard-fought 49-46 lead into halftime. Booker scored 16 points on 7-of-11 shooting from the field. Doncic countered with 18 points, though it was a little less efficient after making 7 of 16 shots.
The Mavericks led for a majority of the first half before Booker’s baseline jam tied it at 40-all with 3:47 before halftime. Mikal Bridges had a nifty steal and then scored on a fast-break layup for a 44-42 lead.
BOOK THE BUCKET
Booker now has 804 points in 30 career playoff games.
The 25-year-old is one of just 18 players in NBA history with at least 800 points in his first 30 postseason games.
He joins Anthony Davis, Donovan Mitchell, Kevin Durant, LeBron James, Tracy McGrady, Vince Carter and Allen Iverson, who have all accomplished the feat since 2000.
Chris Paul came to the arena wearing a shirt that had Phoenix Mercury star Brittney Griner’s picture on the front and her name on the back.
Griner — a seven-time WNBA All-Star — was detained in Russia on Feb. 17 after authorities at the Moscow airport said they found vape cartridges that allegedly contained oil derived from cannabis in her luggage, which could carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. The Biden administration determined Griner is being wrongfully detained. A hearing in a Russian court is set for May 19.
The WNBA and and US officials have worked toward Griner’s release, but have yet to make any headway with the Russian government.
Mavericks: Doncic made his first 3-point attempt in Game 5 after a 1-of-10 performance from long range in Game 4. … F Dorian Finney-Smith was called for a flagrant 1 after a hard foul on Booker in the third quarter.
Suns: F Torrey Craig (right elbow contusion) was available to play. … Ayton was called for an offensive foul on the first possession of the game. He missed a big chunk of the first half after picking up two quick fouls. … Coach Monty Williams dropped backup G Cameron Payne from the playing rotation after two ineffective games in Dallas. … The Suns hosted a sellout crowd for a 32nd consecutive game.