The Los Angeles Clippers vs the Phoenix Suns was a special game in more than one way. Firstly, the Suns were undefeated at their home-court and this was a chance for the Clippers to change that and also top the WC. Secondly, the Clippers were on a revenge spree after their humiliating defeat in the Orlando bubble at the hands of Devin Booker’s buzzer-beater.
The LA-based franchise remained in the driver’s seat and in complete control of the initial 18 minutes where they led 60-29. Thanks to Paul George, they started the second quarter with a 23-5 lead which the Suns later cooled off. The Suns deserved praise for making a fantastic comeback, but it was still PG who impressed the most.
The Clippers’ defense was a worrisome factor before this game. Their damaging loss against the Mavs certainly inflated that gap and exposed the cracks in their defensive strength, and all of that had to change against the Suns. PG scored 22 points with 8/12 from the field and 4/7 from beyond the three-point range in the first half alone. He finished the game with 39 points and seven threes under his belt.
With this performance, his 6-game average has gone up to 22.8 points, 6.2 boards, and 5.3 assists. This is certainly better than all his numbers from the past season (especially from the bubble) where he was immensely criticized, with many even wanting him out of the team.
In the post-game interview, PG said, “I had a tough year last year, people think it’s weak coz I was down. I didn’t hear none of this my 10 years in the league…But people living on that last year. I gotta answer to that, I gotta be ready for that. I’m ready to compete, I’m back.”
Just as the Suns closed in the huge deficit and brought it down to just a 4-point difference, things got a little heated. The moment saw PG and Devin caught in a nasty battle where their respective teams had to keep them apart.
In the post-game interview, PG described the chaos and said, “You got to ask them. I was talking to the ref and CP jumped in and it escalated from there.”
Prior to the game against the LA Clippers, Devin Booker was turning over 5.8 times per match this season. Moreover, he was averaging just 20.5 ppg, which was very unlike his older self from the Orlando bubble. But in this particular game, he came back strongly by scoring 25 points with two turnovers. However, it went in vain as the Clippers snatched the victory in the clutch time with Nicolas Batum’s 23-ft three-pointer.
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