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Chris Paul suffers shoulder injury as Devin Booker, Suns top Lakers in Game 1

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LeBron James started hot from 3-point range, but the Phoenix Suns weren't going anywhere .

Chris Paul went down with a right shoulder contusion, but the Suns kept rolling.

Someone forgot to them they hadn't been to the playoffs in 11 years.

Devin Booker erupted for 34 points in his first playoff game in leading Phoenix to a 99-90 victory in Game 1 against the defending NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers in this best-of-seven first round series.

"Honestly, it's a little different," Booker said when asked if this became like another game as it progressed as he set a franchise record for most points in a Suns playoff debut. "The intensity is different. The physicality is different, but that's only one game."

Deandre Ayton added a double-double of 21 points and 16 rebounds in his first playoff game as Phoenix won despite Paul finishing with just seven points and suffering a shoulder injury with 9:19 left in the first half.

"I'll be all right," Paul said. "Just kept thinking to myself, get through the game. I got a great team around me. People that help me work on my body and stuff like that all the time as well as the Suns organization."

When asked if he'll be good to go for Game 2, Paul said "absolutely," but appeared to be wearing a sleeve or something under his jacket that tugged at his shirt.

Game time is set for Tuesday at Phoenix Suns Arena

"He's a fighter," Booker said of Paul. "We have a team full of fighters."

Paul said he heard "a crack" when suffering the injury as he collided with teammate Cam Johnson after trying to contest a tip-in by James.

"Just was praying for him, hope he he was OK," Suns wing Mikal Bridges said.

Paul left the game with Phoenix leading, 38-29. When he returned to a standing ovation, the Suns were still ahead by nine, 44-35, with 5:32 left in the first half.

"He's tough, he's not going to give in," Bridges said. "I know he's been hurt in playoff series before and I knew he definitely didn't want to miss out on this one."

Paul suffered a hamstring injury in Game 5 of the Western Conference finals with Houston up 3-2 on Golden State. With Paul out, the Rockets dropped Game 6 and Game 7 to lose the series, 4-3 .

However, Paul only missed two out of 72 regular-season games with Oklahoma City last season and two with Phoenix this season with only one due to injury as he sat with a sore right hamstring Feb. 8 against Cleveland.

"It was inspirational to me to watch him out there giving his all on both ends of the floor," Williams said.

Paul played 20 minutes in the second half, scoring four points on 2-of-5 shooting.

"He scored a couple of times, which I didn't think he was actually going to make, but other than that, he was still doing what he was doing," Bridges said. "I know he was hurting, but he was still out there communicating and giving his all."

Along with Paul's shoulder injury, there was another game-stopping moment when Cameron Payne, Montrezl Harrell and Alex Caruso had a skirmish that led to Payne getting ejected with 9:01 left in the game while Harrell and Caruso each received a tech for the Lakers.

Before the game, Williams said having poise was one of the main things he reiterated to the team going into the postseason. As good as they played, the Suns had a lapse in that situation that did lead to the Lakers making a late run.

"It's easier said than done after the game when the emotions aren't going, but we have to be better in those situations," Booker said. "Cam came to me in the locker room and the first thing he said to was, 'My fault.' He wanted to be out there for us. Just understand that there's going to be some of that extra going on, but we have to have the right mentality, next-play approach and just get it done."

The initial Payne-Caruso skirmish came after James missed a free throw and went to the floor after Paul attempted to block him out.

James fell to the floor hard and grabbed his left shoulder. When asked if it was a dangerous play, James said, "we're ready for Game 2."

James led the Lakers with 18 points, hitting his first two 3s, but finished 3-for-7 from deep as the Lakers shot a bleak 7-of-26 from 3.

The Lakers also went just 17-for-28 from the line.

"I thought our guys played with great intensity," Lakers coach Frank Vogel said. "I think we got taken out of a lot of things that we wanted to do offensively. Phoenix had a week to prepare for us. Credit to them doing a great job with that. We've just got to execute a little bit better on the offensive side of the ball."

Dennis Schroder went for 14 while Anthony Davis had only 13 on 5-of-16 shooting after scoring a season-high 42 two weeks ago in Los Angeles in the Lakers' lone regular-season win over the Suns, 123-110.

"It was primarily the same," said Davis when asked if Phoenix defended him differently from that May 9 game. "I don't think anything really changed to be honest. I missed a ton of shots. We missed a ton of shots as a team."

This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: NBA playoffs: Suns top Lakers in Game 1, Chris Paul injures shoulder