Clippers-Suns Game 2 Had Twitter Losing It
The first-round NBA playoff matchup between the LA Clippers and Phoenix Suns may be one of the most intriguing. It’s a rematch of the 2021 Western Conference Finals, although with a few key differences. For one, the Suns now have Kevin Durant. Meanwhile, the Clippers have Russell Westbrook. Furthermore, a 4 v 5 matchup is something of a shock for two teams expected to be Western Conference contenders. However, the Suns ended the season as the fourth seed while the Clippers took the fifth seed.
Despite missing Paul George, the Clippers took Game 1 in a 115-110 shootout. Kawhi Leonard and Eric Gordon combined for 57 points, managing to overcome three 25+ point starters for the Suns. A deciding factor was the Clippers’ defensive prowess, which included holding the Suns to just 18 first-quarter points. Another key element was a poor showing from the Suns’ bench, who combined for just 10 points. That meant it was all to play for in Game 2, with the Suns eager to not fall behind 0-2.
Suns Tie Series With Massive Game 2
In response, the Suns dominated Game 2. Despite a tie game at the half, the Suns played better down the stretch to cap a 123-109 victory. Despite another weak showing from their bench, Durant and Devin Booker combined for 63 points in the win. Booker alone posted 38 points and nine assists. This was combined with no Suns starter dropping less than 14 (though De’Andre Ayton’s 14 was also complimented by 13 rebounds). Furthermore, they almost doubled the Clippers’ assists. This spoke to the Suns’ depth of shooters on a cold night for the Clippers.
The Clippers never let the Suns fully run away with the game, however. Westbrook shook off a 9-point Game 1 to put up 28 points, five rebounds, and five assists. Leonard was once again the team leader with 31 points. However, no Clippers starter finished the game with a positive +/- score. It’s clear that the Clippers are missing Paul George. Nicolas Batum is no replacement in the starting five and played just 19 minutes in Game 2. However, there is no immediate timetable for George’s return. Even though they took Game 1, will that cost the Clippers down the stretch?