The Los Angeles Clippers live to see another day, but will they survive the Phoenix Suns tonight? Our NBA picks have the best analysis and predictions for tonight’s clash – Game Six of the Western Conference Finals.
Read on below to find everything you need before placing your bets on tonight’s action. You won’t want to miss out on tonight’s NBA picks!
Phoenix Suns @ Los Angeles Clippers (Game 6) – 9pm EDT
Take a bow Paul George. With their backs against the wall, the Los Angeles Clippers responded in the best way possible. A massive night from George led LA to a 116-102 over the Phoenix Suns, in Phoenix, and has extended this series to a sixth game.
Facing a 3-1 deficit in the two-seed’s home and without their star, Kawhi Leonard, the Clippers had every excuse to roll over and let the series end, but that isn’t what this team is about. After winning four straight against the Jazz in the previous round, after being down 0-2, this team knows it has what it takes to get hot and go on a run.
George put up a playoff career high 41 points, shooting 15-20 (75%) from the field, in what was his first game shooting above 50% since Game Three against Dallas in the opening round. He wasn’t just a scorer though, contributing 13 rebounds, six assists and three steals, his third straight game with double digit boards.
Only 4 players in NBA History to have
40 PTS – 10 REB – 70% FG when facing elimination in the postseason:
– Wilt Chamberlain
– Patrick Ewing
– LeBron James
– Paul George
— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) June 29, 2021
However, it wasn’t just George who had it rolling, with Marcus Morris Sr and Reggie Jackson getting off to a hot start to give LA the edge. Morris Sr was recalled into the starting lineup after Ivica Zubac was a late scratching and he delivered in a big way, scoring 13 points in the first quarter alone. Jackson also had 12 in the opening period, with the duo finishing with 22 and 23 points, respectively, for the game.
With three LA starters combining for 86 points, more than their entire score in Game Four, 80, the Clippers gave themselves the best opportunity to succeed. Add in the fact that the experienced vet off the bench, DeMarcus Cousins, came in, threw his weight around and put up 15 points in just 11 minutes of action.
While everything seemed to hit for the Clippers, six of eight players who played 10+ minutes shooting 50% or better, the same can’t be said for the Suns. Deandre Ayton was the only starter for Phoenix who shot 50% or better, going 5-9 (55.6%) from the field for his 10 points, with the percentage and total well below his series averages.
Devin Booker and Chris Paul scored well with 31 and 22 points respectively but shot a combined 17-41 (41.5%) from the field, struggling with their shot in each of the games they have played this series. Only one other Phoenix played managed to score in double figures, Cam Johnson off the bench. The sharpshooter managed 14 points and three steals but played just 23 minutes and took just six shots, making five of them. With Cam Payne still hobbled by his ankle injury and unable to fill the sixth man role for Phoenix, Johnson needs more time and opportunities to shine on both ends of the floor.
Phoenix Suns “Valpo” End of Half Play: pic.twitter.com/lvvOI1tBni
— Half Court Hoops (@HalfCourtHoops) June 29, 2021
Especially with Mikal Bridges and Jae Crowder, the two defensive stoppers, clearly not slowing down Paul George and Reggie Jackson whilst combining for nine points, 1-6 shooting from deep and no steals or blocks. Compare that to Pat Beverley and Terance Mann who scored two more points and had two steals plus a block between them.
The Clippers obviously needed to win and that is exactly how they played on Monday night. In the first five games, despite winning just two of them, LA have outscored the Suns by 17 points and have been the better team from top to bottom. They now return home for Game Six with a legitimate opportunity to win another game, extend the series and head back to Phoenix for another Game Seven.
However, we are siding with the Suns. After their disappointing showing on Monday, we fully expect Phoenix to respond tonight. Morris Sr joining the starting lineup was a late adjustment and the Suns didn’t respond well to that, but now they have time to prepare and can advance to the NBA Finals with a win. Chris Paul will be doing everything in his power to close this series out in LA, in front of the fans that once cheered him on, and advance to the NBA Finals for the first time in his career.
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*Odds and spreads correct at time of publication, courtesy of FanDuel.
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Image By: David Vives