Phoenix will meet Dallas in the Western Conference semis of the 2022 NBA Playoffs, thanks to their respective series-clinching Game 6 wins on the road last April 28.
It will be their time to face off in a playoff series and their first since the 2006 Western Conference Finals which the Mavs won in six games.
Monty Williams’s top-seeded Suns had to fight tooth and nail to fend off the eight-seed New Orleans Pelicans, 115-109.
Devin Booker’s return was good news for the defending Western champions, as Chris Paul went unconscious on his former home floor by firing in 33 points on a perfect 14-for-14 from the field (and shot all four free throws) that set a new postseason record while adding 8 assists to his line.
Paul took over in the second half when the Suns trailed by 10 at the interval, firing in from all cylinders, and capped it off with a 12-foot fadeaway to seal the deal, 112-107 with 27.9 seconds remaining
Center Deandre Ayton helped his All-Star point guard with 22 markers, while Mikal Bridges added 18.
After sitting out the past three games due to a strained hamstring, Booker added 13.
The Play-in winners had all but three players fielded by Willie Green scoring in double figures, with Brandon Ingram’s double-double of 21 points and 11 rebounds still not enough to force a deciding Game Seven.
In Salt Lake City, the fourth-seeded Mavericks also have to dig deep from a half-time deficit to send the Utah Jazz packing with a 98-96 nail-biter.
The Dallas backcourt of Jalen Brunson and Luka Doncic caused problems for the hosts, scoring 24 points apiece with Spencer Dinwiddie adding 19 off the bench.
Trailing by a dozen at the break, the Mavs fired a 36-point third quarter, with the Slovenian All-Star fired in 10 there to give them the lead heading into the final period.
There, it went back-and-forth in the fourth, with Dallas thinking they have clinched it with a Brunson corner triple with 2:05 remaining.
However, Utah nearly sent the series into a seventh game, but Bogdan Bogdanovic missed a wide-open game-winning triple as the Mavs escape the Vivint Arena with the win.
The Croatian had 19 for Utah, which supplanted Donovan Mitchell’s 23 as they exit the first round for the third time in the last four seasons.