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The Phoenix Suns took game one behind an incredible performance from Devin Booker, but can they win a ninth straight game? Or will Paul George and the Los Angeles Clippers be able to steal one on the road?
Read on below as our NBA picks have everything you need before placing your bets on tonight’s action.
Los Angeles Clippers @ Phoenix Suns (Game 2) – 9pm EDT
After a historic performance in Game One on Sunday afternoon, the Phoenix Suns ended up outlasting the Los Angeles Clippers, winning 120-114. This was an extremely close contest, the closest Phoenix has had over their eight game winning streak, but their home crowd fans, and Devin Booker, helped get them over the line.
With 16,583 loud fans in the stands, the Suns were able to battle through adversity, 20 lead changes and 13 ties, including at the end of the first and third quarters, to power over the top in the final period. Booker recorded his first career triple double, finishing with game highs of 40 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists, with 11 points and five assists coming in the decisive fourth quarter.
Yesterday, @DevinBook became the 4th player to lead both teams outright in points, rebounds and assists in a Conference/Division Finals game.
– LeBron James
– Larry Bird
– Bill Russell
— Phoenix Suns (@Suns) June 21, 2021
With Chris Paul sidelined with COVID-19, Booker had to take this upon himself to ensure his team got the win and that is exactly what happened. His playmaking got everybody involved, with six different Phoenix players scoring in double figures, with all five starters reaching 10+ and also shooting 50% from the field or better, in what was an incredible offensive display.
When the game got tight down the stretch, the Suns rose to the top, winning the final period 27-21 and hitting big shot after big shot. The same can’t be said for Paul George, with the Clippers’ Star managing just one point on 0-5 shooting in the final period, unable to deliver when LA needed him most.
George did finish with a team-high 34 points while Reggie Jackson continued his fine form with 24 points. However, just one other player scored in double figures, DeMarcus Cousins, who had 11 points for the game but went scoreless in the second half. The Clippers are clearly missing Kawhi Leonard, who is out again tonight, and his ability to make timely plays for them.
Paul George is the 4th player over the last 10 seasons to score 20 points in each of his team’s first 14 games of a postseason, joining Kevin Durant, James Harden and LeBron James. pic.twitter.com/SNUSz7MX7k
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) June 20, 2021
While the Suns needed a 40-point triple-double from Booker to win by just six points, this was their first game playing without Paul in the postseason and there was clearly some adjusting taking place. LA on the other hand had two previous games without Leonard and should have come in raring to go.
The positive for the Clippers is that they broke even for three quarters, only really losing one, and still stuck within six points. They also shot 10% worse from the field, however did make seven more threes and got to the line eight more times, which is quite a substantial difference. Phoenix is clearly the better side, even without Paul, and with their fans cheering them on, should be able to take a 2-0 series lead to Los Angeles.
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*Odds and spreads correct at time of publication, courtesy of FanDuel.
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Photo By: Corleone Brown