Phoenix Suns

Devin Booker and Donovan Mitchell duel as Suns edge Jazz in overtime thriller between West elites

What a game!

In a showdown between the top two teams in the West, an extra five minutes were needed to determine the winner. In the end, the Suns clinched the game 117-113, to extend their win streak to seven, behind a combined 64 points from their All-Stars in Devin Booker and Chris Paul.

The Jazz worked back into the game behind a big second half for Donovan Mitchell but couldn't keep up in overtime to suffer their second consecutive loss - something that's happened just thrice this season.

Here are the biggest talking points from this one.

Booker-Mitchell duel

Despite rough shooting nights, the All-Star shooting guard duo put on a show.

Sometimes, guarding each other, Devin Booker and Donovan Mitchell both scored team-highs of at least 35 with the former finishing with a 41. Mitchell scored 28 of his 41 in the second half, including the clutch game-tying three that forced overtime.

He helped the Jazz overcome a 19-point second quarter to make the game competitive once again.

He was one of five players to score in double figures as for a second straight game, key rotation players struggled to knock down shots as the trio of Jordan Clarkson and Mike Conley Jr. combined for 9-of-28 shooting from the field.

On the other hand, Booker finished with 35 - of which seven came in overtime. Together with Chris Paul, he combined for 12 of the team's 15 points in the extra period.

'Playoff game atmosphere' for Suns

Coming into this one, both teams had faced the lighter end of their schedules. The Jazz had won nine of their last 10 while the Suns - the hottest team since Jan. 28 - had won six straight.

However, this game certainly had a playoff intensity to it, especially in the second half and that was huge for the Suns, who haven't been in the playoffs since 2010 and are just a couple of seasons off of winning a Conference-worst 19 games.

"The intensity, the physicality, the officiating, it certainly reminded me of a playoff game," Suns head coach Monty Williams said postgame.

"Probably the closest to a playoff-type atmosphere that we've faced this year...but it was fun," Booker said postgame as he discussed being more concerned about getting these wins for the No. 1 seed than being slighted on the MVP discussion.

"I think it's good for us to experience those types of games, instead of getting caught off-guard in the playoffs," Booker continued.

Chris Paul's 'Secret Stuff'

Chris Paul provided a spectacular Space Jam Easter Egg in this one, drinking his 'secret stuff' on the bench in a timeout.

Whatever it was, it worked as the 35-year-old came up huge late. He scored 16 of his 29 in the fourth quarter and overtime.

Impact on standings

The result makes the race or battle for the No. 1 seed in the league 'official' with the Suns only a game behind in the loss column. More importantly, this win helps the Suns clinch the head-to-head, making the third and final game between them immaterial.

The Jazz are 38-13 through 51 while the Suns are 36-14 through 50 with the former having the easiest remaining schedule whereas the latter has the sixth-toughest schedule remaining.

Can the Suns overcome the odds and rise to No.1 eventually or will the Jazz hold on?

Quick turnaround in big week

Both teams suit up again in under 24 hours.

With both teams taking advantage of lighter schedules over the past few weeks, this week - against playoff opponent - was a big one for both.

The Jazz, who are now 0-2 in their three big games, fly off to Los Angeles to take on the Clippers at the STAPLES Center while the Suns, who'll look to sweep this competitive back-to-back, host Damian Lillard and the Portland Trail Blazers.

The views expressed here do not represent those of the NBA or its clubs.

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