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Deandre Ayton continued to bounce up and down the lane, tipping rebounds off missed shots to his Phoenix teammates on the outside. Devin Booker wasn’t having a great shooting night, but he kept chucking the ball toward the basket.

Then there’s Chris Paul, the Suns’ veteran point guard who is a never-ending whirlwind of conversation and dribbling.

“Teams struggle with our energy,” Ayton said.

On a night when the Suns were far from flawless, that energy propelled them to yet another victory. Booker scored 35 points, Paul added 29, and Phoenix defeated the Utah Jazz 117-113 in overtime on Wednesday night in an entertaining matchup between the NBA’s top two teams.

In overtime, the Suns scored the first five points and never trailed again. Booker hit a pair of clutch mid-range jumpers to keep the Jazz in the game, and Paul hit a 3-pointer with a minute left to put Phoenix up 114-108.

Utah closed to 114-112 with 21 seconds left on Mike Conley’s layup, but couldn’t tie it. Paul hit two free throws with 7.8 seconds remaining to finally seal it and end the season series with one game remaining. Phoenix has won seven straight games.

“It was real intense,” Booker said. “I thought both teams played hard, defended really well.”

The Suns took a 100-96 lead in the fourth quarter on a 3-pointer by Jae Crowder with two minutes remaining. Utah tied it at 102 on a contested 3-pointer by Donovan Mitchell with 10.4 seconds remaining.

Booker’s three-point attempt at the buzzer was off the mark. The Suns didn’t appear to be deflated.

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“That’s just part of the game,” Suns forward¬†Cameron Johnson¬†said. “We’ve seen crazier things. We had to get ready in overtime and get back after them.”

“I think we did a good job of weathering the storm,” Paul said.

Mitchell led the way for Utah with 41 points. Bojan Bogdanovic had 20 points and 18 rebounds, and Rudy Gobert had 16 points and 18 rebounds.

“I think we did a good job of weathering the storm,” Paul said.

Mitchell led the way for Utah with 41 points. Bojan Bogdanovic had 20 points and 18 rebounds, and Rudy Gobert had 16 points and 18 rebounds.

After Mike Conley hit a jumper at the buzzer, the Jazz rallied from an 11-point halftime deficit to take a 78-77 lead into the fourth quarter. It was a physical game, and the Suns’ 61-45 rebounding advantage helped them win despite a mediocre shooting performance.

Ayton finished with 18 points and 12 rebounds. Johnson scored 11 points and made three of five three-point attempts off the bench.

“With games like this, we really get a chance to show our depth,” Paul said.

Utah only made one basket in the first five minutes, allowing Phoenix to build a 13-2 lead. The Jazz quickly recovered, leading 21-20 at the end of the first quarter.

However, the Suns came back in the second quarter to take a 51-40 lead into halftime.

TOP TWO SURPRISING

It was a clash of two unexpected Western Conference heavyweights who have performed even better than expected this season. The Jazz lead the NBA with a record of 38-13, one and a half games ahead of the Suns (36-14).

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Both teams have taken advantage of relatively good health while rivals, such as the Los Angeles Lakers and LeBron James, have dealt with key player injuries.

The Suns are attempting to end a more than a decade-long playoff drought. In the event of a tie in the standings, Phoenix has clinched the three-game season series by defeating Utah twice this season. –ESPN

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