PHOENIX (AP) — Devin Booker scored 22 points, Mikal Bridges added 18 and the Phoenix Suns beat the Dallas Mavericks 106-102 on Wednesday night in the season opener for both teams.
Chris Paul had eight points and five assists in his debut with Phoenix. The 10-time All-Star was quiet for much of the game but made a few clutch plays in the final minutes.
Paul hit a 15-footer with 1:20 left to give the Suns a three-point lead. Booker followed with a long jump shot to make it 105-100. Luka Doncic cut the Suns’ lead to three with a dunk but after a Booker miss, Bridges grabbed the offensive rebound and Phoenix closed out the victory.
Doncic looked rusty and hesitant at times in the first half, shooting just 5 for 15 from the field. He showed why he is in the MVP conversation in the second half, leading the Mavs with 32 points. Josh Richardson, Tim Hardaway Jr. and Jalen Brunson all scored 12 points.
Phoenix got big contributions from its bench. Cameron Johnson scored 15 points while Cameron Payne and Langston Galloway both added 11. Galloway did his scoring in just nine minutes on the floor.
Mavericks: Dallas is now 22-19 all-time in season openers and has lost four of its last five openers. … The Mavericks were without center Kristaps Porzingis, who continues to rehab from an October surgery to repair the meniscus in his right knee. The Mavs hope that the 7-foot-3 Porzingis will return the first week of January. … It was a homecoming for Mavs rookie Josh Green, who played high school basketball at Hillcrest Prep Academy with Ayton in Phoenix. The two both played in college at Arizona.
Suns: Forward Dario Saric, who missed all four of the Suns preseason games, sat out the opener with a sore right quad … Veteran Frank Kaminsky returned to the Suns on Tuesday. Phoenix claimed the 7-foot big man after he was waived by Sacramento. In 39 games last season with the Suns, Kaminsky averaged 9.7 points and 4.5 rebounds. Kaminsky did not see action Wednesday because of health and safety protocols. … Forward Abdel Nader, who was acquired in the Chris Paul trade, did not play because of concussion protocol. Nader suffered the concussion in the team’s preseason game against Utah.
Mavericks: Travel to face the Lakers on Christmas Day.
Suns: Travel to face Sacramento on Saturday.
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