Booker, Ayton lead Suns past Lakers in playoff debuts

Sports

PHOENIX (AP)Devin Booker scored 34 points, Deandre Ayton had 21 points and 16 rebounds and the Phoenix Suns won their first playoff game in 11 years, beating the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers 99-90 on Sunday.

It was the first playoff game for several Suns players, including Booker, Ayton and Mikal Bridges, but they didn’t look like postseason rookies against LeBron James and the Lakers. They helped Phoenix offset a tough game for Chris Paul, the All-Star point guard who didn’t look healthy after a right shoulder injury in the second quarter.

The Suns led 86-70 early in the fourth, but the Lakers cut it to 86-77 with 9:02 left.

That’s about the time things got rowdy. L.A.`s Alex Caruso and Phoenix’s Cameron Payne got into an altercation near the sideline after Payne knocked Caruso to the ground. L.A.’s Montrezl Harrell jumped into the fray and both teams had to be separated. Caruso and Harrell were each given a technical foul, and Payne was given two and ejected.

But Booker kept making shots and Ayton was a force on the glass, finishing with eight offense rebounds and shooting 10 of 11 from the field.

James had 18 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds. Anthony Davis shot just 5 of 16 from the field and had 13 points. The Lakers shot 7 of 26 (27%) from 3-point range.

Game 2 is Tuesday night in Phoenix.

HAWKS 107, KNICKS 105

NEW YORK (AP) – Trae Young made a runner in the lane with 0.9 seconds left to lift Atlanta past New York in a thrilling postseason return for both teams.

Young finished with 32 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds. He frustrated the Knicks with his ability to draw fouls and made all nine free throws when he did.

Bogdan Bogdanovic added 18 points for the Hawks in their first postseason game since 2017.

Alec Burks scored 27 points for the Knicks, who are back in the playoffs for the first time since 2013. Derrick Rose scored 17 points, but Julius Randle shot just 6 for 23 while finishing with 15 points and 12 rebounds.

The Knicks host Game 2 on Wednesday night.

GRIZZLIES 112, JAZZ 109

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) – Dillon Brooks had 31 points and seven rebounds in his playoff debut and eighth-seeded Memphis held off Utah in Game 1.

After Utah trailed by 17 in the fourth quarter, Bojan Bogdanovic hit five free throws in the final minute to cut it to 110-109 with 6.4 seconds left. Brooks made a layup, and Bogdanovic badly missed a long 3-pointer with 1.9 seconds to go.

Ja Morant added 26 points, Jonas Valanciunas had 15 points and 12 rebounds, and Kyle Anderson added 14 points.

Bogdanovic scored 20 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter. Mike Conley had 22 points, 11 assists, and six rebounds, and Rudy Gobert added 11 points and 15 rebounds.

Game 2 is Wednesday night in Salt Lake City.

76ERS 125, WIZARDS 118

PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Tobias Harris scored 37 points, Joel Embiid had 30 and Philadelphia beat Washington in Game 1.

Harris scored 28 points in the first half, making a case Philly has – with All-Stars Embiid and Ben Simmons – three big stars that could rival the superstar trio of Kevin Durant-James Harden-Kyrie Irving in Brooklyn.

Bradley Beal scored 33 points for Washington. Russell Westbrook had 16.

Game 2 is Wednesday night in Philadelphia.

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