The Phoenix Suns followed suit Tuesday (104-103) over the Los Angeles Clippers in the final of the Western Conference thanks to a dunk of the pivot Deandre Ayton in the last second Match.
With only seven tenths of a second left on the clock, winger Jae Crowder, who was taking the throw-in from behind the baseline, landed a millimeter pass to Ayton, who knocked down the ball into the circle with both hands to give Phoenix the final advantage. However, the Clippers seemed to have done the hardest part, after coming back from a 9-point deficit in the third quarter and coming back in front in the last minute of the fourth quarter. time thanks to six straight points from their winger Paul George.
It is a significant success for Phoenix, once again deprived on Tuesday of its leader Chris Paul, the offensive metronomer of the team, currently subject to the health protocol related to the coronavirus and whose return date is not yet known.
The Clippers, them, still without their winger Kawhi Leonard, injured in the knee and who could not play again in the series, will have to bounce back from this heartbreaking setback and will be back in their Staples Center’s lair in Los Angeles for Game 3 on Thursday.
This second round was worth more for its suspense than its quality. Neither team has led by more than nine points and the theatrical kicks followed each other in the last minute, between the two failed free throws of Paul George With eight seconds remaining, and the three-point open shot missed by Suns winger Mikal Bridges with three seconds remaining. At the end of the match, Phoenix coach Monty Williams paid tribute to the determination of his players who, led by a point with less than a second on the clock, reached get out of the rut.
In addition to the absence of Chris Paul, the Suns also had to contend with the night without back scorer Devin Booker, author of a game with 40 points in the first confrontation on Sunday but then. Offensively his sneakers on Tuesday.
Booker missed 11 of his 16 shots and lost 7 balls, during a night still complicated by a collision. Leech defender of the Clippers Patrick Beverley, in fact, involuntarily balled him which caused him to bleed profusely.
But the back at number 1 was largely redeemed on the last decisive action by putting a perfect screen on the pivot of the Clippers Ivica Zubac to free his teammate Deandre Ayton , who flew to the victory dunk.
Booker’s lack of offensive impact was made up for Tuesday by protests from point guard Cameron Payne, who posted career-high 29 points and 9 assists. The troublemaker who sets fire to the rackets has been well supported by Deandre Ayton (24 pts at 12/15), whose sense of placement has still worked wonders in this second match, until now last action already cult. On the Clippers side, after three mediocre quarters (7 of 18 on shots), Paul George regained the forward march in the last period (10 pts), failing to tip the match. But that wasn’t enough to interrupt the series for Phoenix, which is now nine straight in the play-offs.
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