Dallas guard Luka Doncic drives against Devin Booker of the Suns during Phoenix’s 109-101 win Thursday night in Dallas. Brandon Wade/Associated Press

DALLAS — Devin Booker scored 28 points, Chris Paul had 20 points and 11 assists, and the Phoenix Suns rallied late to beat the Dallas Mavericks 109-101 on Thursday night.

In a matchup of two of the NBA’s hottest teams, Phoenix (35-9) finished a sweep of its season-high, five-game road trip and won its ninth straight against the Mavericks.

Luka Doncic scored 28 points, Jalen Brunson added 19 and Kristaps Porzingis had 18 points and 11 rebounds for the Mavericks (26-20), who had a four-game winning streak snapped.

After Mikel Bridges’ floater gave Phoenix a 101-99 lead with 2:56 left, Bismack Biyombo – playing only his seventh game this season after joining the Suns this month – followed his free throw with a dunk to give Phoenix a 104-99 lead. Paul’s 3-pointer with 19 seconds to go was the clincher, putting the Suns ahead 107-99.

Doncic has scored 20 or more points in nine straight games. He missed the Mavericks’ two previous games against Phoenix this season, losses in mid-November, because of injuries.

The Suns won despite shooting a season-worst 22.2% on 3-pointers (8 for 36), including missing 17 straight in the first half.


PELICANS 102, KNICKS 91: Jonas Valanciunas had 18 points and 10 rebounds, Josh Hart added 17 points and New Orleans won at New York.

RJ Barrett and Mitchell Robinson each scored 17 for the Knicks, with Robinson adding 15 rebounds.


NETS: Kyrie Irving was fined $25,000 by the NBA for cursing at a fan in Cleveland.

Irving’s comments to the fan during the second quarter of Brooklyn’s 114-107 loss on Monday were captured on video. Irving used profanity in reminding the fan that he helped the Cavaliers win the NBA championship in 2016.

The NBA has been trying to clean up profanity among players, fining Irving’s teammate Kevin Durant and New York’s Julius Randle recently for using obscene language during interviews.


Irving’s exchange with the fan was part of an eventful return to his former home. After the game, he reiterated that he wasn’t changing his stance on refusing the COVID-19 vaccine, which has kept him ineligible to play in home games because of New York City’s mandate for professional athletes who play indoors.

• Brooklyn assistant coach David Vanterpool was fined $10,000 and the Nets were penalized $25,000 by the NBA after he interfered with play in a victory at Washington.

Vanterpool reached across the sideline and deflected a pass with 5:42 remaining in the fourth quarter of the Nets’ 119-118 victory on Wednesday. The Nets ended up coming up with the ball and were credited with a steal.

Washington’s Kyle Kuzma, who was charged with a turnover on the play, was livid and critical of the officials after the game. Referee Ben Taylor said none of the officials saw the deflection on the floor.

INVESTIGATION: The NBA is investigating a live-ball interference between Nets assistant coach David Vanterpool and a pass from Washington Wizards’ Spencer Dinwiddie on Wednesday.

Vanterpool or the Nets could face discipline in the form of a fine or a suspension. The incident happened at the 5:45 mark of the fourth quarter of the Nets’ 119-118 victory over the Wizards.


Dinwiddie attempted to swing a pass to a wide-open Kyle Kuzma in the corner, but Vanterpool, who was standing close to the sidelines, stuck his hand out and deflected the pass. Nets veteran guard Patty Mills then closed-out on Kuzma and stole the ball away. Kuzma took a foul to stop the possession, then he and Dinwiddie complained about Vanterpool’s outstretched arm.

BULLS: Chicago guard Lonzo Ball will have arthroscopic surgery on his left knee and is expected to be out six to eight weeks, the team announced Thursday.

Ball has missed three games since a 42-point loss to Golden State last week. Coach Billy Donovan said Wednesday the team had switched up his treatment, hoping he would avoid surgery, after he didn’t respond well to the initial regimen. Ball had the same knee scoped in 2018 when he was with the Lakers.

Acquired from New Orleans in a sign-and-trade deal, Ball has been a major contributor in Chicago’s rise to the top of the Eastern Conference. He is averaging 13 points, 5.4 rebounds and 5.1 assists. A disruptive defender on the perimeter, he is sixth in the league in steals at 1.8 per game. Chicago (28-15) was tied with Miami for the East lead through Wednesday, after four straight losing seasons. The Bulls visit Milwaukee on Friday to start a three-game trip that also takes them to Orlando and Miami.

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