Against a Mavericks team that shoots a high volume of outside shots, the Suns needed to match those efforts with an impressive shooting performance of their own.
They certainly got one, making 11-of-28 3-pointers and shooting 46-of-91 (50.5 percent) from the field overall in their 121-114 win over Dallas in Game 1 of the Western Conference Semifinals at Footprint Center in Phoenix on Monday night.
With Cameron Johnson and Jae Crowder sinking three triples each, the Suns had six different players hit an outside shot. It was part of a grander effort in which six players and all starters scored in double figures, led by Deandre Ayton with 25 points on 12-of-20 shooting.
The Suns’ hot offense helped them build a 14-point advantage within the first seven minutes of the game. It grew as high to 19 points in the fourth quarter, with their lead falling below single digits only four times in the second half overall.
On the defensive side, the Suns dominated on the glass, outrebounding the Mavericks 51-36.
Devin Booker had 23 points, nine rebounds and eight assists and Chris Paul’s 19 points, five rebounds and three assists moved Paul into fifth place all-time for playoff assists — and Johnson and Mikal Bridges finished with 17 and 13 points, respectively.
The Suns will have a day off before playing Game 2 of this series on Wednesday at 7 p.m. MT. The game will be televised by TNT.
Devin Booker: 23 points, 9 rebounds, 8 assists
Deandre Ayton: 25 points, 8 rebounds
Chris Paul: 19 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists