Devin Booker scores 38, helps Suns even series vs. Clippers

April 19 (UPI) -- Sharpshooting guard Devin Booker scored a game-high 38 points, including 25 in the second half, to lead the Phoenix Suns past the Los Angeles Clippers, evening the first-round NBA playoff series at 1-1.

Booker made 14 of 22 shots, including four 3-pointers, and logged nine assists in the 123-109 Game 2 triumph Tuesday at the Footprint Center in Phoenix. Suns forward Kevin Durant chipped in 25 points.


"We obviously wanted to get off to a better start and didn't," Booker told reporters. "But we just let the game settle and went from there."

The Suns made 58.8% of their shots and 41.6% of their 3-point attempts. The game featured five lead changes and was tied five times.

The Suns went up 5-0, but the Clippers responded with eight unanswered points about two minutes into the game. The Clippers carried a 29-24 lead into the second.

Durant and center DeAndre Ayton each scored 10 over the next 12 minutes to help the Suns outscore the Clippers 35-30 in the quarter. The game was tied 59-59 at the break.


Booker anchored a 12-2 run to start the third, giving the Suns a 10-point edge. He totaled 18 points, making 7 of 8 shots, in the quarter. The Suns led 92-87 to start the fourth.

The Suns went on another 10-2 run over the next three minutes to take a 102-89 edge. The Clippers cut the lead to six, but did not get closer over the final three minutes.

Suns guard Chris Paul made 4 of 5 shots and totaled eight of his 16 points in the fourth quarter. Suns forward Torrey Craig and Ayton scored 16 and 14 points, respectively. Ayton also logged 13 rebounds.

Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard scored 31 points and totaled eight rebounds and seven assists in the loss. Guard Russell Westbrook totaled 28 points in the loss.

The Clippers will host the Suns in Game 3 at 10:30 p.m. EDT Thursday at Arena in Los Angeles.

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