LA Clippers Bounce Back in Game 3 Against Phoenix Suns; Cuts Series to 2-1
After dropping their first two games on the road, the Los Angeles Clippers were back in business as they beat the Phoenix Suns in Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals, 106-92, making the first step inside the Staples Center their playoff formula.
Clippers' Playoff Formula
The LA Clippers took control of Game 3 of the West Finals series at home. Paul George together with the rest of the Clippers squad broke the nine-game winning streak of the Suns in the NBA playoffs.
Despite the presence of Suns' floor general, Chris Paul, the Suns were suffocated by the Clipper defense led by Patrick Beverly. CP3 delivered his steady numbers in Game 3 after coming back from NBA's COVID-19 health and safety protocols, CBS Sports reported.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Clippers coach Tyronn Lue stated that he does not like being down 2-0 in the series but what he was about is the fact that they had been a resilient team all season long.
Also, Clipper guard Reggie Jackson emphasized that their team was resilient and they always believe. Jackson, who dropped 23 points and 3 rebounds, said that the Clippers never give in, never say die and they did not have a doubt about it.
Moreover, Paul George led the scoring department for the Clippers. PG13 redeemed himself from missing the possible game-winning free throws in Game 2. George drop was 2 assists shy to have a triple-double performance with 27 points, 15 rebounds, and eight assists.
Ivica Zubac also finished their first Conference Finals at home with a double-double performance. Zubac scored 15 points, most of it came from dishes from George, and grabbed 16 rebounds. Terance Mann, who started at the last minute in place of Marcus Morris, sparked a key third-quarter run that gave the Clippers the upper hand in Game 3. He finished with 12 points.
Suffocating Clipper Defense
Defense became the story of the night at Staples. Patrick Beverley held Devin Booker to only 15-point production, shooting only 5-of-21 shooting from the field. Paul also struggled in the game shooting 5 of 19 from the field and scoring just 15 points with 12 assists. He made his usual jumpers, but was forced by the Clippers to take shots beyond the arc with the shot clock winding down, which was not his sweet spot.
On the other hand, Paul admitted during the post-game interview that the Clippers had outplayed them in Game 3. Paul mentioned that the home team came out having more energy to win the must-win game in the series.
For Phoenix Suns, five among their players were in double digits with Deandre Ayton leading with 18 points and 12 rebounds. Compared to their previous games in the series, though, it was too low. The Suns shot only below 40% from the field -- a percentage that's painful, especially if the team was shooting more than 50% in the field in the series. They also turned the ball over 10 times forced by the Clipper defense.
Game 4 of the West Finals series is 6 p.m. Saturday at Staples Center.
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