Devin Booker Phoenix Suns bat Los Angeles Clippers Game 1 – .

Devin Booker Phoenix Suns bat Los Angeles Clippers Game 1 – .

PHOENIX (AP) – Devin BookerThe first playoff basketball exposure continues to be a revelation.
Not necessarily for him, but for the rest of the NBA.

Booker had 40 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists in his first career triple-double and the Phoenix Suns defeated Chris PaulLos Angeles’ absence to beat the Los Angeles Clippers 120-114 Sunday in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals.

“I don’t understand why everyone is surprised at this point,” Suns said. Jae Crowder said of Booker’s big day. “It’s his first time on this stage but he is capable of it. He is more than capable. He is more than ready. He prepares like no other.

Paul has been absent due to COVID-19 health and safety protocols. Star mower Kawhi Léonard missed his third game in a row with a sprained right knee.

Tied at 93 to start the fourth, the Suns drove 12-2 and took the lead 105-95 over the dunk Cam Johnson with 8:08 left. The Clippers didn’t stray from it, however, reducing a 10-point deficit in the final two minutes to 116-114 when Terance Mann scored a 3-point with 22 seconds left.

But that’s where the rally ended for Los Angeles.

“I have no excuse,” said Clippers coach Tyronn Lue. “I thought we were playing hard and we were competitive. A little credit – they were hitting and we didn’t. But I loved our fight. I loved what I saw.

Booker dunked on the next possession to seal Phoenix’s eighth straight win, securing a clear path to the basket on blown defensive cover. The sixth-year goalie was a surprising omission from the All-NBA teams released a few days ago, but he certainly looked into the game on Sunday.

He was not worried about the place of this match among his best performances.

“I’ll let you do the ranking,” Booker said. “I’m just going over there to win every game I can. I’ve been saying this from the start of the playoffs – every next game is the biggest game. “

Game 2 takes place Tuesday night in Phoenix.

Booker continues to solidify his status as a superstar and has been productive and efficient in one of the best games of his career. He shot 15 of 29 from the field, slicing through a defense that only had to play 36 hours after shutting down the Utah Jazz on Friday night.

The third quarter was marked by a stellar duel between Booker and LA’s Paul Georges, who finished with 34 points. Booker scored 18 points during the quarter and George had 15, including a 3-pointer that tied him at 93 before the fourth.

The Suns were leading 76-68 halfway through the third, but George scored eight straight points – including six from two long 3-pointers – to tie the game. It was the start of a 16-2 streak that helped Los Angeles take an 84-78 lead.

Booker and the Suns responded quickly. Booker scored 12 points – mostly on mid-range jumpers – in the last 3:09 of the third to get Phoenix back on track. Then Phoenix went through the fourth quarter.

“We have to figure out how to block, what we’ll do, find another game plan,” said George. “I think it was a good feeling game to see adjustments. We have been excellent at adjusting. ”

Deandre Ayton had 20 points and nine rebounds for the Suns. Cameron Payne started for Paul and had 11 points and nine assists.

Reggie Jackson added 24 points for the Clippers.


Paul celebrated with the Suns following the Game 1 —- win on FaceTime.

Crowder said Paul, 36, raised a finger on the screen to signify it was just a game, but he enjoyed the moment.

“He can’t wait to come back,” Crowder said.


The Clippers got a boost from veteran great Demarcus Cousins ​​in the second quarter. He entered the game and almost immediately threw a monster dunk over it Dario Saric. He scored 11 points on 4 of 6 shots in his first five minutes on the pitch.

The talented but oft-injured Cousins ​​has only made two playoff games this season. The four-time All-Star has averaged 7.8 points in 16 regular-season games with the Clippers this season.


general manager of the suns James Jones was named the NBA Executive of the Year on Sunday. Team president Robert Sarver surprised Jones with the announcement in a short mid-court ceremony minutes before the announcement.

Jones joined the team two years ago and helped build the Valley’s best team in 11 seasons. His big move was to add Paul during the offseason, but he also made other key moves, like the addition of Payne, Torrey Craig and the editorial staff of Cameron Johnson.

He received a big ovation from the sold-out crowd of 16,583 people.

The low-key Jones was a man of few words when Sarver handed him the microphone, thanking the crowd and then adding a sentence.

“All I can say is ‘Go Suns, let’s win’,” Jones said.


Clippers: Leonard and before Serge Ibaka (back surgery) did not play. Clippers coach Tyronn Lue said on Saturday Leonard was undergoing treatment for his knee in Los Angeles and was unsure of his availability for Game 2.

Suns: Paul and before Abdel Nader (arthroscopy of the right knee) did not play. Suns coach Monty Williams said Paul’s situation was “day to day”.


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