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NBA: Kevin Durant dazzles as Suns sink Mavericks

Kevin Durant of the Phoenix Suns scores a basket against the Dallas Mavericks in the first half of the game at American Airlines Center on March 5, 2023 in Dallas, Texas.  (Getty Images via AFP)

LOS ANGELES – Kevin Durant produced a 37-point masterpiece as the Phoenix Suns defeated Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks 130-126 in a heavyweight Western Conference NBA duel on Sunday.

A much-hyped clash which pitted Durant against former Brooklyn team-mate Kyrie Irving did not disappoint with 13 lead changes in a contest that went down to the wire.

Durant, traded to Phoenix in a blockbuster move from the Nets last month, delivered a signature performance to guide the Suns to a gutsy victory on the road.

The 34-year-old scored the go-ahead basket with less than 12 seconds remaining before adding two late free throws to ice the game.

Durant received support from Devin Booker, who added 36 points, 10 assists and five rebounds, while Chris Paul added 11 points.

Doncic meanwhile finished with 34 points for Dallas with Irving contributing 30 points and Tim Hardaway Jr. adding 21 off the bench.

Tempers flared in the dying seconds with Doncic and Booker going nose-to-nose after the Slovenian squandered a relatively straightforward chance to tie the game with six seconds remaining.

Doncic confronted Booker after the Phoenix star appeared to taunt the Dallas talisman for the miss, triggering a confrontation between players from both teams.

Phoenix improved 36-29 to stay in fourth spot in the West while Dallas fell to 33-32. The Mavs are in seventh, just outside the automatic postseason places.

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