Chris Paul’s masterclass inspires the Phoenix Suns to 2-0 lead in the NBA playoffs

Paul, who turns 37 on Friday, amassed 28 points, six rebounds and eight assists to inspire the Suns to a 129-109 playoff series win in the best of seven Western Conference playoffs.

It looked likely to be a close match in the fourth quarter as the Suns were only six ahead, 89-83, but Phoenix turned it into a comfortable win after scoring 40 points in the final quarter, including 14 from Paul.

“Guys, tell me you’re looking at the same thing,” Suns guard Devin Booker, who had a 30-point record, told reporters when asked about Paul’s longevity.

“It impresses us every time we see it, but it doesn’t surprise us. It’s just the desire to win.”

The Suns head to Dallas with a 2-0 lead and are hoping Paul can keep going. The 36-year-old, however, keeps his feet on the ground.

“You just have to rely on the work,” Paul told reporters, explaining his ability to continue playing at the highest level. “Everything goes back to work.

“You can’t cheat the game. You have to strength and conditioning, you have to lift, you have to rest, you have to lift the shots.

“When you do, you live with the results.”

Dallas star Luka Doncic did his best to keep his team in the game with 35 points, five rebounds and seven assists out of 13 of 22, but little else came from a tame team of the Mavs, leading manager Jason Kidd to ask the rest of his team for more.

“He had a great game, but no one else showed up. We have to get the other guys to shoot the ball better,” Kidd said after the game. “We can’t just win with him scoring 30 goals a night, not this time of year. And we’re playing with the best team in the league, so we have to convince other guys.”

Game 3 is Friday in Dallas.

Paul drives to the basket against Mavs guard Spencer Dinwiddie.

The heat gave sixers a 2-0 lead

Meanwhile, in the Eastern Conference, the Miami Heat extended their playoff lead to 2-0 after beating the Philadelphia 76ers 119-103 on Wednesday.

Bam Adebayo and Jimmy Butler scored 23 and 22 points respectively for the hosts who had too much for their opponents.

Philadelphia will desperately hope MVP nominee Joel Embiid can return after suffering a facial fracture and concussion against the Toronto Raptors to help get his post-season hopes back on track.

However, following Wednesday’s defeat, Sivers manager Doc Rivers said he is still unsure whether Embiid will be fit enough for Game 3.

“He has so many steps to take and I don’t think he’s canceled any right now. So we just have to wait and see,” he told reporters.

Philadelphia hosts Game 3 on Friday.