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Booker closes out Mavs, Ayton wins battle of top picks, Suns win opener 121-100

Devin Booker scored 17 points in the last five minutes to close out the game to MVP chants, and the Phoenix Suns exorcised a few opening night demons.

Booker led the Suns as Point Book from the 5-minute mark, and helped (led) the Suns to a convincing victory over the Dallas Mavericks.

The Suns won their opener 121-100 behind great games from all over the team.

Top pick Deandre Ayton finished with 18 points, 10 rebounds and a whopping six assists — two more than Luka Doncic of the Mavericks. Trevor Ariza hounded Doncic all game, and scored 21 of his own points, while grabbing 8 rebounds and 7 assists. Joining Trevor Ariza in the almost-triple-double land was Isaiah Canaan, who finished with 8 points, 7 assists and 6 rebounds.

Star Devin Booker finished with 35 points and 7 assists, while T.J. Warren and Josh Jackson each made 3 of 4 threes on their way to 17 and 18 points, respectively.

The Suns finished the night with 35 assists — which ties a season-high from last year against... these same Dallas Mavericks.

Read on!

First quarter

Deandre Ayton got the biggest cheers when announcing lineups. while Luka Doncic got the most boos (though more cheers then other Mavs)

In the first two and a half minutes, Ayton had 6 points and 3 rebounds, including a three-point play ON Luka Doncic and drawing an offensive foul while Isaiah Canaan made a three. BOOM

Suns got up 11-4 before three minutes were up. Carlisle timeout.

The game became a series of pick and rolls by the Mavs between Doncic and Jordan - the Suns had no rotational help when Ayton was forced to come up on Doncic after Doncic had bodied Ariza onto his back hip.

But then the Suns came back down and forced the Mavs to defend the Booker-Ayton combo. The gravitational pull by both Booker and Ayton was a sight the Suns have not seen in a long long long time.

The Suns had a 20-16 lead with 5 minutes left in the first.

The Suns were up 23-16 (+7) when Ayton took his first breather. Ayton had 8 points, 3 rebounds and no fouls committed.

Tyson Chandler is painful to watch. He just can’t get off the floor anymore.

T.J. Warren made his first two threes. WOW.

The Suns went up 37-24 after one.

Ariza with 8 points, 2 rebounds and an assist, staying in with the second unit to provide veteran presence (that doesn’t look old).

Devin Booker with 6 points, 3 assists so far.

After one quarter, the Suns have 11 assists on 14 field goals. And EIGHT of nine players had at least one assist.

For the Mavs, DeAndre Jordan with 11 points and 6 rebounds. No blocks. Luka Doncic with 6 points, 3 assists, 2 rebounds and 2 fouls.

Second quarter

Well the good time energy kinda dissipated for a moment, even with Ayton and Booker back out there. Dallas went on a 7-0 run with their bench.

The Suns were in danger of losing their lead with the Mavs making everything they put up, even bouncing around the rim before dropping.

But after the Mavs pulled to wishing 39-36, the Suns made a couple rather shots including T.J. Warren’s THIRD three of the game.

The Suns went back up 49-38 on Ariza’s third three of the game. The Suns are now at 8 threes after a quarter and a half.

The Mavs went on another mini run to get the game back to 49-42 but then Devin Booker finished a fast break and Trevor Ariza made his fourth three of the game to put the Suns back up 54-42.

Ariza has 14 points, 3 rebounds and 2 assists, all while guarding Luka on the other end (who is still at 6 points 3 assists since mid first quarter).

At halftime, the Suns are up 56-46

Devin Booker has 13 points, 3 assists and 2 rebounds.

Ariza with 14 points (4 threes)

Ayton has 10 points, 5 rebounds (0 fouls)

Suns have 16 assists on 21 field goals, and 14 fast break points. Shooting 50% from the field, 47% on 9-19 threes (all good and open)

For the Mavs, Luka Doncic 6 points, 3 assists, 3 fouls. DeAndre Jordan has 11 points, 8 rebounds.

Second half

Can the Suns keep up the pace? Can they keep making their shots?

Booker makes a three on the Suns first possession. Then Booker assists to Ariza on the weak side of the pick and roll. Twice.

Suns up 64-48.

I love Trevor Ariza, who already has 21 points. Booker is up to 5 assists with his 16 points.

Part of this is Mavs shrinking down to the paint, even with Jordan in there, to control the roll. But then just getting tons of open shots out of it.

The Mavs got smarter at that point and used the physical Wes Matthews for the firs time in post up position on Devin Booker, drawing two fouls quickly and forcing Booker to the bench with his 4th foul.

A big stretch of the game is coming here, with the Suns up just 76-66 and Booker on the bench at least until the start of the 4th.

T.J. Warren took over then to keep the Suns in the 10-point lead range, scoring in a variety of ways after showing the Mavs they can’t play off him on the wing.

Suns closed out the 4th with a true 2017 lineup for a bit: Chandler, Canaan, T.J., Josh and Daniels. Luckily the buzzer sounded before it got under 10.

Suns up 83-73

And DRAGAN BENDER is having a great game! Net-0 on the scoreboard even. (He hasn’t played)

Fourth quarter started with Canaan and Warren making shots to get the Suns up 14 again.

Another Mavs “run” on some good bounces and Booker returns with 8 minutes and an 8-point lead on the scoreboard.

After a short laying and jumper, Ayton now has 16 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists.

The Mavericks made a couple threes and suddenly its a 4-point game with 7 minutes left.


Point Book to close it out - or at least run it for a bit. Josh Jackson with Ayton, Ariza and Anderson.

Booker makes a long three, then gets the three-point play heading to the basket.

Suns up 102-94 with 4:34 left. Booker with 23 and 6 assists, Ayton with 18 points, 9 rebounds and 5 assists so far. Isaiah Canaan with 8 points, 7 assists and 6 rebounds himself.

Ayton has more assists (6) than Luka (4). Suns up 105-97.

Then Booker hits another 3.

Suns up 11. Booker has 30.

Then the roof came off the arena as Booker made shot after shot. Almost like exorcising demons from the last three years.

Ayton 18, 10 and 6 assists.

Booker 35 points, 7 assists,

Suns had 35 assists. On 44 shots. And 19 threes.

Suns win their opener

Hold on… This old guy’s gonna shed a tear or ten… sniffle

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