Deandre Ayton’s 25 points lead Phoenix Suns to Game 1 win over Mavs

May 2, 2022, 9:53 PM | Updated: 11:29 pm

Deandre Ayton #22 of the Phoenix Suns handles the ball against Maxi Kleber #42 of the Dallas Maveri...

Deandre Ayton #22 of the Phoenix Suns handles the ball against Maxi Kleber #42 of the Dallas Mavericks during the first half of Game One of the Western Conference Second Round NBA Playoffs at Footprint Center on May 02, 2022 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Deandre Ayton made his presence felt in Game 1 against the Dallas Mavericks on Monday night, leading the Phoenix Suns in scoring with 25 points on 12-for-20 shooting.

Ayton scored 20 points in the paint while splashing in a couple of jump shots. He only took one free throw on the night in leading the Suns to a 121-114 win and a 1-0 series lead in the Western Conference semifinals.

The center pulled down eight rebounds on the night, was a +10 in 33 minutes and took advantage of a Mavericks team with less size than he saw in the first round against the New Orleans Pelicans.

Ayton’s 60% shooting led the Suns to a 50.5% shooting night as a team, including 39% from 3.

Cam Johnson and Jae Crowder led the Suns from range as each player made three 3s on the night.

Johnson, Crowder, Chris Paul, JaVale McGee and Cam Payne all finished at 50% shooting or better on the night.

Devin Booker flirted with a triple-double, finishing with 23 points, nine rebounds and eight assists in his first game back in front of the home fans since April 19.

Phoenix led 96-79 after three quarters before allowing the Mavericks to close the gap by 10 points in the fourth quarter.

The Suns host the Mavericks in Game 2 on Wednesday at 7 p.m. on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station.

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