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In order to take over a game late Saturday night, a Phoenix Suns team tasked with playing without its top scorer might turn to its 10-time All-Star.

In the fourth quarter, Chris Paul scored 16 of his 27 points and had 12 assists to help the Suns rally to beat the 111-105 Dallas Mavericks. Deandre Ayton had 18 points and 17 rebounds and 14 points were scored by Mikal Bridges and Jae Crowder each.

With 6 minutes to play in the third quarter, the Suns trailed by 15.

“There’s obviously a comfort in having a guy like that with the ball, knowing that his intention is to make a play for the team,” Suns coach Monty Williams said about Paul, acquired from the Oklahoma City Thunder in November, “It could be for him to get a shot or someone else, but I think the game is a bit slower for him down the stretch. I don’t know what that is, a gene, or he just has it.”

Without All-Star guard Devin Booker, the Suns played their fourth straight game. A strained left hamstring is sidelining him. On Monday night, the teams will be meeting in Dallas again.

Without All-Star guard Devin Booker, the Suns played their fourth straight game. A strained left hamstring is sidelining him. On Monday night, the teams will be meeting in Dallas again.

Luka Doncic, who scored 18 of his 29 points in the third quarter, including eight straight in a 12-0 burst after the teams were tied at halftime, had a terrific outing for Dallas. The Mavericks lost their fifth game in succession. Since falling seven straight in March 2019, it is their longest losing streak. They’ve lost four straight at home as well.

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Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said, “We had some loose possessions, we had some poor defensive possessions and they got the momentum back.” “It just a really disappointing one ’cause of how hard our guys fought. But Phoenix hung in and, and they made plays and they were able to do what they had to do to get the momentum back. We’ve just simply got to do better.”

 

By scoring the first eight points of the fourth to take an 85-82 lead, Phoenix opposed Dallas’ third-quarter surge.

The Mavericks played without Kristaps Porzingis, who sat back-to-back for the second game. Two remaining great men of Dallas, Willie Cauley-Stein and Dwight Powell, both fouled out. In 30 minutes, Cauley-Stein had 14 points and nine rebounds, Powell had eight points and in 18 minutes he had two rebounds.

Cauley-Stein hit a short jumper and Dorian Finney-Smith scored on an alley-oop pass from Doncic after Cauley-tip-in Stein’s at the halftime buzzer tied it at 55, to bring the Mavericks ahead 59-55. Then Doncic scored the next eight points to bring Dallas ahead 67-55 in the third with 8:07 to play.

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