LOS ANGELES (AP)Chris Paul had 18 points and nine assists, Devin Booker and Jae Crowder added 17 points apiece and the Phoenix Suns beat the Los Angeles Lakers 100-92 on Sunday in Game 4 to even the first-round series.
Deandre Ayton had 14 points and 17 rebounds, and the second-seeded Suns took advantage of Anthony Davis’ absence from the second half with a groin injury to reclaim home-court advantage after two straight losses.
LeBron James had 25 points and 12 rebounds for the Lakers. Before a last-minute surge, Los Angeles struggled in the absence of starters Davis and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who injured his knee in Game 3.
Game 5 is Tuesday night in Phoenix.
Davis scored six points on 2-for-9 shooting in the first half, then didn’t return after halftime. The superstar big man scored 34 points in each of the Lakers’ two victories in the series, but he hyperextended his leg in Game 3 and appeared to aggravate his accumulated injury woes in the second quarter of Game 4, falling awkwardly and grabbing his leg after a layup attempt defended by Crowder.
CLIPPERS 106, MAVERICKS 81
DALLAS (AP) – Kawhi Leonard had 29 points and 10 rebounds, Paul George scored 20 points and Los Angeles manhandled Dallas in Game 4 to tie the series.
Reggie Jackson added 15 points, and the Clippers are headed home for Game 5 on Wednesday night much more sure of themselves than when they left LA in a two-game hole.
Luka Doncic started slowly after being listed as questionable because of cervical strain, the diagnosis for the Dallas sensation after he said following Game 3 that he felt pain in his neck and down his left arm.
Playing with medical strips on his left shoulder, and wearing a large pad in that area when he wasn’t playing, Doncic scored 19 points after averaging 38 in the first three games. He was 9 of 24 with series lows in rebounds and assists with six apiece.
NETS 141, CELTICS 126
BOSTON (AP) – Kyrie Irving Irving had 39 points and 11 rebounds to quiet the first post-pandemic full house at the TD Garden, Kevin Durant scored 42 points and Brooklyn beat Boston to take a 3-1 series lead.
Afterward, as Irving walked off the court he was nearly hit by a bottle thrown from the stands. Irving and Nets guard Tyler Johnson turned to the stands and pointed; police surrounded a man in a Kevin Garnett jersey before leading him out in handcuffs. A spokeswoman for the TD Garden said Boston Police arrested one person Sunday night ”for throwing an object” and that the fans was ”subject to a lifetime ban from TD Garden.”
James Harden added 23 points and a career postseason-high 18 assists for Brooklyn. Game 5 is in New York on Tuesday night, when the Nets will try to advance to the Eastern Conference semifinals for the first time since 2014.
Jayson Tatum scored 40 points for the Celtics, following up his 50-point effort in a Game 3 victory. But with Jaylen Brown and Kemba Walker out with injuries, Tatum couldn’t save the season on his own.
HAWKS 113, KNICKS 96
ATLANTA (AP) – Trae Young scored 27 points, John Collins added 22 despite a smack to the lip and Atlanta frustrated Julius Randle and New York once again, pulling away in the second half for a 3-1 series lead.
The Hawks will look to wrap up their first playoff series victory since 2016 when they travel to Madison Square Garden for Game 5 on Wednesday night.
Randle was serenaded again by chants of ”Overrated! Overrated! Overrated!” every time he put one up. The roars were deafening after a sequence in the third when Randle missed on a drive and had a put-back rim out before the Knicks knocked the ball out of bounds.
Randle’s frustration boiled over less than a minute later when he slammed Collins to the court on another drive. Nothing was called initially, but Randle was assessed an offensive foul after a video review prompted by a challenge from Hawks coach Nate McMillan.
Randle did have his highest-scoring game of the series with 23 points, but he was just 7 of 19 from the field.
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