The Eastern and Western Conference Semi-Finals continued last night in the west, with the Phoenix Suns defeating the Dallas Mavericks 121-114 at the Footprint Center in Phoenix, AZ. Deandre Ayton was terrific and led the Suns with 25 points and eight rebounds on 12 of 19 from the field, while Devin Booker went for 23 points, nine rebounds and eight assists. Chris Paul contributed 19 points and Cameron Johnson added 17 points off the bench, as the Suns led from wire to wire. The brilliance of Luka Doncic was not enough as he led all scorers with 45 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists on 15 of 30 from the field in over 44 minutes, recording his sixth career 40-point game in the playoffs. The Suns lead the series 1-0, with game 2 on Wednesday night.
In the east, the Miami Heat dominated a shorthanded Philadelphia 76ers squad, missing MVP Finalist Joel Embiid, with a decisive 106-92 win. Tyler Herro scored 25 points – the second-most he’d ever had in a playoff game – while Bam Adebayo finished with 24 points and 12 rebounds, and the top-seeded Heat ran away in the second half to beat the fourth-seeded 76ers in Game 1. 76ers’ coach Doc Rivers started veteran DeAndre Jordan in Embid’s place with four points and two rebounds in 17 minutes. Hardly a productive night. Tobias Harris led the 76er offense with 27 points and James Harden had 19 points. The series resumes with Game 2 on Wednesday night in Miami