Suns too hot for James-less Lakers

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    TAKING CHARGE: Suns star Chris Paul attacks the defense of Lakers guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope in second half action. REUTERS PHOTO

    CHRIS Paul recorded a triple-double en route to his 10,000th career assist and the Phoenix Suns took advantage of the absence of LeBron James to record a front-running 111-94 victory over the visiting Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday night (Monday in Manila).

    The win not only pushed the Suns one game ahead of the defending NBA champions in the Pacific Division, but also clinched the three-game season series. Phoenix had won at Los Angeles 114-104 earlier this month.

    Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton shared game-high scoring honors with 26 points apiece for the Suns, who won their second straight on the eve of a four-game Southeastern swing.

    Paul finished with 11 points, a game-high-tying 10 rebounds and a game-high 13 assists, the ninth of which made him the sixth player in NBA history to reach the 10,000 milestone.

    He joins John Stockton, Jason Kidd, Steve Nash, Mark Jackson, and Magic Johnson in the exclusive club.

    In other games, it was the Sixers 101, Knicks 100 (OT); Mavs 132, Blazers 92; Pacers 109, Heat 106 (OT); Thunder 114, Rockets 112; Nets 113, Wizards 106; Pelicans 113, Nuggets 108; Cavs 116, Raptors 105; Celtics 112, Magic 96; and Bulls 100, Pistons 86.

    Sixers 101, Knicks 100 (OT)

    Tobias Harris hit two free throws with 5.3 seconds left in overtime to cap a wild fourth quarter and extra session and lift visiting Philadelphia to a win over New York.

    Shake Milton finished with a team-high 21 points off the bench while Harris had 20 points for the Eastern Conference-leading 76ers, who won for the eighth time in nine.

    Julius Randle had 24 points and Alec Burks scored 16 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter and overtime for the Knicks, who lost for the third time in four games.

    Mavericks 132, Blazers 92

    Luka Doncic matched his career best of eight 3-pointers and scored 37 points in just three quarters as Dallas steamrolled host Portland.

    Josh Richardson scored 21 points and Dorian-Finney Smith added 13 for Dallas, which made 19 of 37 from 3-point range and shot 55.8 percent overall. Kristaps Porzingis had 12 points, while Tim Hardaway Jr. and Dwight Powell tallied 11 apiece.

    Damian Lillard scored 19 points and Gary Trent Jr. added 16 for Portland, which had a three-game winning streak halted. Nassir Little scored 14 points and CJ McCollum added 13 for the Trail Blazers.