PHOENIX — Chris Paul scored 19 of his 30 points during a brilliant fourth-quarter shooting display and the Phoenix Suns beat the New Orleans Pelicans 110-99 on Sunday night in Game 1 of the first-round playoff series.
The top-seeded Suns needed Paul's big finish despite dominating most of the game.
The Pelicans shook off the slow start, cutting a 23-point deficit to 79-71 by the end of the third.
New Orleans kept hitting shots in the fourth, but that's when Paul took over, hitting three 3-pointers and a layup in 2 1/2 minutes in a flurry that kept the Pelicans chasing.
Game 2 is Tuesday night in Phoenix. Devin Booker added 25 points for the Suns. CJ McCollum led the Pelicans with 25 points.