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Suns win and stay alive in ‘bubble’


Devin Booker of the Phoenix Suns tries to beat Trey Burke of the Dallas Mavericks during the game on Thursday, Aug. 13, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

AP Photo

Devin Booker scored 27 points and the Phoenix Suns passed the Dallas Mavericks 128-102 on Thursday, keeping their hopes of reaching the postseason alive as the only undefeated team at the restart of the season.

Dario Saric had 16 points, while Cameron Payne and Cameron Johnson added 15 each for the Suns. Phoenix could advance to the series for the eighth berth to the playoffs, to be held on Saturday, if Portland loses to Brooklyn on Thursday.

Dallas had already claimed to face the Los Angeles Clippers in the playoffs, thus limiting the playing time of its starters. Luka Doncic entered the game averaging 32 points, 11 rebounds and 11.3 assists in the “bubble.” Against Phoenix he had 18 points in just over 13 minutes.

Boban Marjanovic, the 2.23-meter substitute center, finished with 18 points and 20 rebounds, the most of his career.

Phoenix made 66% of his field goals in the first half and had a 76-57 lead. Before halftime Booker had 23 points hitting nine of 13 shots. The Suns’ biggest lead was 28 points.