LOS ANGELES — Chris Paul had 18 points and nine assists, Devin Booker and Jae Crowder added 17 points apiece and the Phoenix Suns beat the Los Angeles Lakers 100-92 on Sunday in Game 4 to even the first-round series.
Deandre Ayton had 14 points and 17 rebounds, and the second-seeded Suns took advantage of Anthony Davis’ absence from the second half with a groin injury to reclaim home-court advantage after two straight losses.
LeBron James had 25 points and 12 rebounds for the Lakers. Before a last-minute surge, Los Angeles struggled in the absence of starters Davis and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who injured his knee in Game 3.
Game 5 is Tuesday night in Phoenix.
Davis scored six points on 2-for-9 shooting in the first half, then didn’t return after halftime. The superstar big man scored 34 points in each of the Lakers’ two victories in the series, but he hyperextended his leg in Game 3 and appeared to aggravate his accumulated injury woes in the second quarter of Game 4, falling awkwardly and grabbing his leg after a layup attempt defended by Crowder.
HAWKS 113, KNICKS 96
ATLANTA — Trae Young scored 27 points, John Collins added 22 despite a smack to the lip and Atlanta frustrated Julius Randle and the New York Knicks once again, pulling away in the second half for a 3-1 series lead.
The Hawks will look to wrap up their first playoff series victory since 2016 when they travel to Madison Square Garden for Game 5 on Wednesday night.
Randle was serenaded again by chants of “Overrated! Overrated! Overrated!” every time he put one up. The roars were deafening after a sequence in the third when Randle missed on a drive and had a put-back rim out before the Knicks knocked the ball out of bounds.
Randle’s frustration boiled over less than a minute later when he slammed Collins to the court on another drive. Nothing was called initially, but Randle was assessed an offensive foul after a video review prompted by a challenge from Hawks coach Nate McMillan.
Randle did have his highest-scoring game of the series with 23 points, but he was just 7 of 19 from the field.
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