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NBA playoffs: Chris Paul doesn't miss, leads Suns to series win over Pelicans

NBA playoffs: Chris Paul doesn't miss, leads Suns to series win over Pelicans
Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul scored 23 of his game-high 33 points in the second half of a playoff victory over the New Orleans Pelicans on Thursday in New Orleans. Photo by Tannen Maury/EPA-EFE

April 29 (UPI) -- Veteran guard Chris Paul made a record 14 of 14 shot attempts for a game-high 33 points to lead the Phoenix Suns to a series-clinching Game 6 win over the New Orleans Pelicans in the first round of the NBA playoffs.

Paul sank four 3-pointers and scored 23 points in the second half of the 115-109 triumph Thursday at Smoothie King Center in New Orleans. He also totaled eight assists.

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Paul's 14 shots without a miss set a new NBA playoff record.

"We needed that," Paul told reporters, when asked about his effort. "We had a team that pushed us.

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"I told coach in the second quarter: 'I'm going to be aggressive.'"

The game featured 22 lead changes and was tied nine times. The Pelicans outscored the Suns 60-40 in the paint, 20-7 off fast breaks, 38-20 off the bench and 25-19 off turnovers, but couldn't hold off a second-half rally.

The Suns, who trailed by as many as a dozen points, outscored the Pelicans 67-51 over the final 24 minutes.

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Suns center Deandre Ayton scored 10 points in the first quarter, but the game was tied 28-28 to start the second. Larry Nance Jr. then scored 10 points off the Pelicans bench over the next 12 minutes.

The Pelicans outscored the Suns 30-20 in the second to take a 58-28 lead at the break.

Paul scored 13 in the third and propelled a 10-0 run midway through the quarter to help the Suns snatch momentum.

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The Pelicans still held an 85-82 edge to start the fourth, but were outscored 33-24 down the stretch.

Ayton totaled 22 points in the win. Suns forward Mikale Bridges chipped in 18 points. Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram totaled 21 points, 11 assists and five rebounds.

The top-seeded Suns will face the No. 4 Dallas Mavericks in the second round. Game 1 of that Western Conference series tips off at 10 p.m. EDT Monday on TNT.

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