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Klay ejection mars Suns win

LOS ANGELES (AFP) — Devin Booker scored 34 points as the Phoenix Suns overpowered Golden State, 134-105, in a hard-fought clash that saw Warriors star Klay Thompson ejected for the first time in his National Basketball Association career.

Booker produced another 30-point scoring exhibition for the third straight game as the Suns laid down an early marker against the defending NBA champions.

The 25-year-old Phoenix talisman was also at the center of a third-quarter skirmish with Thompson that led to the Warriors’ future Hall-of-Famer being tossed for the first time in his 651-game career.

Thompson was expelled after he bumped Booker midway through the third quarter to earn a technical before earning a second technical as he unleashed a tirade at the Suns and referee Ed Malloy.

That flashpoint proved decisive, with the Suns exploiting the Warriors’ lack of composure to turn an 83-77 advantage into a 13-point lead at 90-77.

The Suns would eventually outscore the Warriors 33-20 in the third to take a 105-86 lead into the final period.

Golden State rallied to cut the deficit to 12 points midway through the fourth, but Phoenix pulled away once again to seal a deserved victory.

Booker, who has averaged 32 points in four games to start the campaign, said Phoenix was determined to impress against the reigning NBA champions.

“Those are the defending champs over there,” Booker said.

“They have a culture, an environment, they’re holding the crown.”

“Every time we match up against them we want to play hard and play competitive.”

Booker made no apologies for his spirited clash with Warriors veteran Thompson.

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