The Suns are one win away from their first trip to the NBA Finals since 1993. Deandre Ayton had a monster game with 19 points, 22 rebounds and four blocks to help the Suns take a 3-1 lead in the Western Conference Finals. The Suns won 84-80 despite only scoring 34 second half points! Devin Booker led Phoenix with 25 points before fouling out with 1:05 to play. Booker and Chris Paul shot a combined 14-for-44 (31.8 percent) from the field and 0-for-8 from beyond the arc. It was a rough shooting night for both teams:
Suns: 31-for-86 FG, 4-for-20 3PT
Clippers: 27-for-83 FG, 5-31 3PT
The Suns and Clippers combined to shoot 9-for-51 (17.6 percent) from 3-point range! Every single NBA game all season long had at least 11 total made 3-pointers. Game 5 will take place on Monday at 9:00 PM ET at Phoenix Suns Arena.
Team to Win (Regular Time)
• Los Angeles Clippers: 3.01
• Phoenix Suns: 1.43
• Los Angeles Clippers: +5.5 (1.90)
• Phoenix Suns: -5.5 (1.90)
• Over 214.5 (1.87)
• Under 214.5 (1.94)
Key Points to Consider
Sometimes the first two or three minutes of a game are just as crucial as the last three minutes. This was evident on Saturday. The Suns came out firing/defending hard. This was when the flow and style of the game was dictated. And the Clippers were 0-for-12 in the fourth quarter on shots that could’ve tied the game or taken the lead. That’s the most such attempts without a make in the fourth quarter of a game over the last 25 postseasons.
“Our guys fought, we competed. Just couldn’t make shots. I’m proud of our guys for the way we competed. Just gotta make shots, that’s it,” Clippers head coach Tyronn Lue said about Saturday’s loss.
With Kawhi Leonard (plus-8.1 Offensive Box Plus/Minus in the playoffs) still out for the Clippers and the Suns at full strength, coming off a massive road win in a game they should’ve lost, I just don’t see how they can at least contain Deandre Ayton and keep their season alive. That said, they’ve proven they can keep up with the Suns and they will play hard and put up a fight. Both teams will shoot the ball better, they’re due for some positive regression, especially the Clippers.
The Clippers are 4-1 ATS in their last five games following an ATS loss, 4-1 ATS in their last five games as an underdog, 4-1 ATS in their last five playoff games as an underdog and 6-2 ATS in their last eight games overall.
For the Clippers, Paul George is projected to finish with 28.5 points, 7.6 rebounds and 6.7 assists, making 9.2 field goals in 21.8 attempts.
For the Suns, Devin Booker is expected to score 25.4 points with 6.4 assists and 4.8 rebounds, making 8.0 field goals in 18.7 attempts.
Four-star (out of four) AccuScore hot trend pick on the Clippers in this one. Average score in simulations is Phoenix Suns 105.9 to Los Angeles Clippers 104.9.
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