Suns rally from 22 points down to beat Mavericks 107-105

Oct 19, 2022, 9:51 AM | Updated: 11:50 pm

Phoenix Suns guard Damion Lee (10) celebrates a Dallas Mavericks turnover with forward Mikal Bridge...

Phoenix Suns guard Damion Lee (10) celebrates a Dallas Mavericks turnover with forward Mikal Bridges (25) during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Phoenix, Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2022. The Suns won 107-105. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

PHOENIX (AP) — Damion Lee understands the final possession etiqutte in an NBA game, so the Phoenix Suns new role player passed the ball to Devin Booker with about 15 seconds left, expecting the All-Star guard to take the final shot.

Booker passed it right back to Lee.

The 6-foot-5 Lee rewarded Booker’s confidence by hitting a difficult jumper over Spencer Dinwiddie with 9.7 seconds left, lifting the Suns to a 107-105 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday night after they trailed by 22 points early in the third quarter.

“I got double-teamed, so I made the right play,” Booker said grinning. “I trust my teammates, I trust everybody out there. It’s something we’ve scouted and we’ve schemed. Teams are going to throw different defenses at me.”

Booker finished with a team-high 28 points. Lee scored all of his 11 points in the fourth quarter.

Lee — who signed with the Suns in the offseason after four seasons with Golden State — hit three important 3-pointers in the fourth, but saved the best for the final seconds.

“Ball was in my hands, just go make a play,” Lee said. “I know people are giving me the credit with the game-winning shot, but this was a total team effort.”

Dallas star Luka Doncic missed a long 3-pointer at the buzzer.

“It’s the first game, we have a couple of new guys, we still have to work,” Doncic said. “We have 81 games to go. We are going to get it right.”

It was an impressive come-from-behind win for the Suns, who picked up a victory against the team that eliminated them from the playoffs last season in embarrassing fashion.

The Mavericks led 67-45 early in the third quarter and 93-80 with eight minutes left, but the Suns kept pushing. Cameron Payne’s layup put the Suns up 101-100 with 3:10 left for the first lead since the first quarter.

Doncic scored 35 points for the Mavericks. Christian Wood added 25 points and eight rebounds in his team debut.

Dallas built a 21-point lead in the second quarter but the Suns cut that advantage to 77-76 late in the third on Payne’s jumper. Wood made back-to-back 3s — including one that banked off the glass — to push the Mavs back on top 88-76 early in the fourth.

But the Suns never stopped playing. Deandre Ayton had 18 points and 10 rebounds, Cameron Johnson added 15 points, and Mikal Bridges had 13 points and 11 rebounds. Johnson left the game in the fourth quarter because he was cramping and didn’t return.

The 23-year-old Doncic — entering his fifth NBA season — scored 13 points as the Mavericks jumped out to a 32-24 lead after the first quarter. Dallas stretched its lead to 21 in the second before settling for a 62-45 halftime advantage.

“We played for 3 1/2 quarters, then we run out of steam,” Dallas coach Jason Kidd said.

It was the first game for the Suns since their stunning 123-90 home loss to the Mavs in Game 7 of the Western Conference semifinals. The top-seeded Suns had won 64 games during the regular season, which set a franchise record.

Despite that disappointment, GM James Jones opted to keep most of the nucleus, signing Booker and Ayton to lucrative long-term deals.

The Mavericks — which lost to the Warriors in the Western Conference finals after beating the Suns — also have a similar roster, though they lost Jalen Brunson to the Knicks in free agency.


JaVale McGee was back in Phoenix on Wednesday, but he had switched sides from the Suns to the Mavericks.

The 7-foot McGee started for the Mavericks, finishing with three points and four rebounds in 14 minutes. He was a vital part of the Suns’ bench last season, averaging 9.2 points and 6.7 rebounds per game.


Suns forward Dario Saric played in his first game since suffering a torn ACL in the first half of Game 1 of the NBA Finals in 2021. He missed all of last season.

Saric — who checked in early in the second quarter to loud cheers — averaged 8.7 points per game during the 2020-21 season.


Mavericks: F Davis Bertans (right knee) and G Frank Ntilikina (right ankle) weren’t available to play. G Facundo Campazzo was on the inactive list.

Suns: G Landry Shamet (left hip strain) and F Jae Crowder (not with team) weren’t available to play. Crowder and the Suns mutally agreed that the forward would stay away from the team while the front office looked for a trade. … C Deandre Ayton played just seven minutes in the first half because of foul trouble.


Mavericks: Host Memphis on Saturday night.

Suns: At Portland on Friday night.


More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Associated Press

Ex-Packer Guion gets 1 year for domestic violence assault

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Former Green Bay Packers defensive tackle Letroy Guion was sentenced to one year in jail after pleading no contest in a domestic violence assault at his home last fall. Brown County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Walsh also ordered Guion on Tuesday to serve three years’ probation and complete a domestic […]

1 year ago

Joe Jarzynka...

Associated Press

Durant eager for Suns debut vs. Hornets after knee injury

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Kevin Durant has been through quite a bit during his 15-year NBA career — but joining a new team midway through the season is a new one for the 13-time All-Star. The 34-year-old Durant doesn’t seem all that worried. Durant makes his highly anticipated Phoenix Suns debut on Wednesday night against […]

1 year ago

FILE - Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores stands on the sideline during the second half of an N...

Associated Press

Judge: NFL coach can press discrimination claims in court

NEW YORK (AP) — NFL Coach Brian Flores can pursue some of his discrimination claims against the league and its teams in court rather than through arbitration, a judge ruled Wednesday. The written decision by Judge Valerie Caproni in Manhattan was issued months after lawyers for the league tried to get the lawsuit moved to […]

1 year ago

Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Alex Stalock cools off in the first period during an NHL hockey game ...

Associated Press

Kane trade reinforces hard reality of Blackhawks rebuild

CHICAGO (AP) — After days of speculation, the harsh reality of the Chicago Blackhawks’ situation was reinforced by one move in a flurry of transactions ahead of the NHL trade deadline. Showtime is over, at least in Chicago, and a seemingly bright future is, well, way off in the distance. The reverberations of Chicago’s decision […]

1 year ago

FILE -  Yves Jean-Bart, president of the Haitian Football Federation, wearing a protective face mas...

Associated Press

Disgraced ex-Haitian soccer president announces he’s back

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Haiti’s former soccer federation president whose lifetime ban from sport over sexual abuse allegations was overturned last month announced Wednesday that he is reclaiming his position. Yves Jean-Bart’s defiant announcement could lead to a standoff with FIFA, which already has appointed an emergency management committee to lead the Haitian Football Association […]

1 year ago

FILE - Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers walks off the field after an NFL football game against the ...

Associated Press

Rodgers says decision on future will come ‘soon enough’

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Aaron Rodgers says he will make a decision on his future “soon enough” as the four-time MVP quarterback ponders whether to play next season and if his future remains with the Green Bay Packers. Rodgers, 39, discussed his future while speaking on an episode of the “Aubrey Marcus Podcast” that […]

1 year ago

Suns rally from 22 points down to beat Mavericks 107-105