Devin Booker leads Phoenix Suns to 106-102 win over Luka Doncic's Dallas Mavericks
Devin Booker scored 22 points to help the Phoenix Suns towards a 106-102 victory over the Dallas Mavericks in their season opener on Wednesday night.
Mikal Bridges chipped in with 18 points and seven rebounds, Cameron Johnson had 15 points and 2018 first overall pick Deandre Ayton had 13 points, eight rebounds and one assist.
Chris Paul meanwhile had just eight points on three of nine shooting on his regular-season debut for Phoenix following his offseason arrival from the Oklahoma City Thunder.
MVP favourite Luka Doncic scored a game-high 32 points as well as recording eight rebounds and five assists for the Mavericks, while Jalen Brunson, Tim Hardaway Jr., and offseason acquisition Josh Richardson each had 12 points for Dallas, who were without Kristaps Porzingis due to a knee injury.
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Booker split two free throws with 1:44 remaining to put the Suns ahead to stay, before Paul added a jumper 24 seconds later to make it 103-100. An 18-footer from Booker with 40.2 seconds left then made it a five-point margin as Phoenix saw out the win.
Langston Galloway and Cameron Payne each scored 11 points for Phoenix, who shot 48.1 per cent from the field and was 11 of 30 from three-point range, compared to Dallas’ 42.4 per cent from the field and nine of 37 from behind the arc.
Doncic finished the game 11 of 26 shooting and missed all six of his three-point attempts on the night.
A Johnson basket saw the Suns up by 12 early in the fourth quarter, before Dallas moved within 91-90 after Jalen Brunson’s layup with 5:29 left.
The Suns’ Jae Crowder replied with a three-pointer, but that did not hold off the Mavericks as they eventually levelled the score at 96 with 3:38 to play.
Ayton and Paul each made two free throws as the Suns took a four-point lead, before Doncic scored four in a row to tie it at 100 with 1:56 on the clock.
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Bridges scored 15 points and Booker added 13 as Phoenix led 53-45 at the break, Doncic sitting with 13 points after going five of 15 shooting. Having missed his first six shots, the Slovenian star was finally on the board when he converted a three-point play late in the opening quarter.
Doncic helped the Mavs build a 62-61 lead in the third quarter, to which the Suns responded by restoring their stronghold in the game, with Payne’s three-pointer earning them a 77-71 advantage heading into the fourth.
Around the league
Buddy Hield put back a Harrison Barnes miss at the buzzer to hand the Sacramento Kings a dramatic 124-122 overtime victory over the Denver Nuggets.
Hield finished with a team-high 22 points, Barnes and De’Aron Fox had 21 apiece and Cory Joseph 15, while Nikola Jokic led Denver with 29 points, 15 rebounds and 14 assists.
Michael Porter Jr meanwhile had 24 points, along with 16 apiece for Paul Millsap and Will Barton.
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Joel Embiid scored 29 points alongside 14 rebounds to lead the Philadelphia 76ers to a 113-107 win over the Washington Wizards in Doc Rivers’ debut as head coach of the team.
Russell Westbrook produced a 21-point, 15-assist and 11-rebound triple-double, the 147th of his career, for the Wizards, becoming the first player in franchise history to record a triple-double on debut. Bradley Beal top-scored for Washington with 31 points followed by Davis Bertans’ 14.
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Brandon Ingram registered 24 points, nine rebounds and 11 assists as the New Orleans Pelicans beat the Toronto Raptors 113-90. JJ Redick had 23 points for the Pelicans, Eric Bledsoe 18, Lonzo Ball 16 and Zion Williamson 15 to go alongside his 10 rebounds and three assists.
Pascal Siakam top-scored for Toronto with 20 points and also had six rebounds and six assists, while Kyle Lowery provided 18 points and 10 assists.
The Orlando Magic saw off the Miami Heat 113-107 following a tied-game-high 25 points from Evan Fournier. Aaron Gordon finished with 20 points and seven rebounds, Terrence Ross 19 points, Nikola Vucevic 15 points and 11 rebounds and Markelle Fultz 15 points.
Fresh off signing his new deal in the offseason, Bam Adebayo led Miami with 25 points and 11 rebounds, with support from Goran Dragic’s 20 points and Jimmy Butler’s 19.
Malik Beasley’s 23 points and Karl-Anthony Towns’ 22 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists helped the Minnesota Timberwolves towards a 111-101 victory over the Detroit Pistons. D’Angelo Russell had 18 points, five rebounds and four assists in support, Jarrett Culver had 10 points and 10 rebounds and No 1 overall Draft pick Anthony Edward supplied 15 points, four rebounds and four assists in 25 minutes of action.
Following a busy offseason of recruitment, the Pistons were led by Josh Jackson’s 19 points and 15 apiece from Blake Griffin and Derrick Rose. New man Mason Plumlee had 14 points, eight rebounds and six assists, while Jerami Grant managed just nine points, one rebound and three assists.
Trae Young went off for 37 points, six rebounds and seven assists to inspire the Atlanta Hawks to a 124-104 win over the Chicago Bulls, receiving support from 15 points apiece for Bogdan Bogdanovic and Cam Reddish. Zach LaVine’s 22 points led the Bulls, followed by 21 points, seven rebounds and four assists for Lauri Markkanen. No 4 overall pick Patrick Williams meanwhile had 16 points, four rebounds and one assist.
The Charlotte Hornets suffered a 121-114 defeat to the Cleveland Cavaliers after 27 points from Collin Sexton. Darius Garland had 22 points, six rebounds and six assists for the Cavs, Larry Nance Jr 13 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists, and Andre Drummond 14 points, 14 rebounds and four assists.
Terry Rozier put up a game-high 42 points for the Hornets, followed by 28 from former Celtic Gordon Hayward, who arrived on a big-money deal during the offseason. LaMelo Ball’s regular-season debut, however, ended pointless after he was Drafted at No 3 overall in November.
Rudy Gobert finished with 20 points and 17 rebounds, while Donovan Mitchell also had 20 points as the Utah Jazz began their season with a 120-100 win over the Portland Trail Blazers, for whom CJ McCollum top-scored with 23 points followed by 15 from Carmelo Anthony.
The San Antonio Spurs beat the Memphis Grizzlies 131-119 after a 28-point, nine-rebound, nine-assist game from DeMar DeRozan. Dejounte Murray also came away with 21 points, six rebounds and nine assists, while LeMarcus Aldridge chipped in with another 20 points of his own.
Last season’s Rookie of the Year Ja Morant opened his account for the season with 44 points in the defeat for Memphis.
Domantas Sabonis had 32 points, 13 rebounds and five assists, Victor Oladipo had 22 points and Malcolm Brogdon 21 points, seven rebounds and eight assists as the Indiana Pacers claimed a 121-107 win over the New York Knicks, who were led by RJ Barrett’s 26 points.
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