Devin Booker and Chris Paul started 0-9 and were a combined 4-20, but the Suns stayed afloat and managed to go into the locker room with a 48-46 lead at the half.
If their big scorers settled in, it appeared that the Suns could take a commanding 3-0 lead in the series. However, it wasn’t to be. A 21-3 Clippers run in the third quarter spurred LA past Phoenix on Thursday, as the Suns nine-game postseason winning streak came to a close with a 106-92 loss at the Staples Center.
The Suns would hang around and make various scoring runs, including a 12-0 burst in the fourth quarter, but it was too little, too late. Booker also had a poor sequence in the third when he committed three fouls and received a technical in a matter of a minute and half.
In his first game back, Paul was 5-19, while Booker struggled and was 5-21. Deandre Ayton was once again a bright spot, dropping in 18 points, but the overall lack of offense and stops on the other end proved to be too much to handle. Shots just weren’t falling, and the Clippers made a concerted effort on limiting Booker.
Another big storyline was the absence of Cameron Payne, who left the game with an injury in the first half. There will be updates to follow on Payne’s status going forward.
Reggie Jackson and Paul George combined for 50 points, and four different Clippers were in double-figures. A pivotal game four is on Saturday, June 26 at 6 p.m. local time.