Chris Paul went 14 for 14 in the best shooting night in NBA playoff history, Devin Booker returned from a hamstring injury to hit a late 3-pointer and the Phoenix Suns beat the New Orleans Pelicans 115-109 on Thursday night to finish off the first-round series in six games.
Phoenix will face the Dallas-Utah winner in the second round.
Paul helped put the Suns up for good, at 102-101, on an assist on Deandre Ayton’s dunk with 2:12 left. Ayton had 22 points on 10-of-12 shooting.
The Suns erased the 10-point halftime deficit by making 13 of their first 14 shots in the third quarter to take a 77-74 lead. At that point, Paul was 10 of 10 from the field and Ayton was 6 of 6. Paul had 13 points in the quarter, but New Orleans used an 11-5 run to take an 85-82 lead into the final period.
CHRIS PAUL IS PERFECT! <a href=”https://t.co/gyWjxyzmLV”>pic.twitter.com/gyWjxyzmLV</a>
Booker played for the first time in nine days since injuring his right hamstring after scoring 31 points in the first half of Game 2. He scored 13 points on 5-of-12 shooting and had five rebounds and three assists in 32 minutes.
Brandon Ingram led the Pelicans with 21 points.
The game got chippy in the second quarter — there were 16 fouls called — and the Pelicans seemed to revel in the physical play, outsourcing the Suns 30-20 to take a 58-48 halftime lead.