The Los Angeles Clippers managed to outdo the Phoenix Suns in the first game of their opening-round series on Sunday. The Clippers clinched a 115-110 victory. Despite the absence of Paul George, the Clippers managed to contain Kevin Durant and the Suns. Russell Westbrook had a crucial contribution in ensuring this.
The Clippers had a strong start and took a significant lead in the second quarter. However, the Suns managed to make a comeback in the third quarter with a 15-0 run. The Clippers went on to tie the game by the end of the third quarter. In the fourth quarter, Leonard took over and helped the Clippers secure a lead. The Suns showed that they were not going down without a fight, with Durant almost recording a triple-double.
Westbrook’s late heroics sealed the Clippers’ victory. He blocked Devin Booker’s shot and managed to keep the ball in play before it went out of bounds. This enabled the Clippers to gain possession of the ball and ultimately win the game. Leonard was the Clippers’ top scorer with 38 points, while Gordon had 19 points. Westbrook was only a few points short of a triple-double, finishing the game with 9 points, 10 rebounds, and 8 assists.
What next for the Clippers?
The Clippers will need to continue playing at a high level to make up for the absence of George, who is not expected to play in the first-round series due to a knee injury. His 23.8 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 5.1 assists per game this season will be sorely missed.
Despite their victory, the Clippers cannot afford to be complacent as they head to Phoenix for game 2 of the series. The Suns will undoubtedly come back stronger and look to level the series. However, the Clippers will be buoyed by their resilience and will aim to continue their momentum in the upcoming game.