Chris Paul and the Phoenix Suns are in the NBA Finals after defeating the LA Clippers tonight, 130-103. The franchise from Arizona handled the rivals in six games, sealing the advance at Staples Center.
Paul’s role was crucial, as the veteran playmaker scored 41 points, becoming the oldest player in history to score 40+points in one closeout match.
He would perfectly guide the Clips to another win, not allowing his former team to catch a swing and deliver another blow. Right from the start until the end, we saw the Suns dictating the tempo and restraining the hosts’ offense. The entire job was done until the middle of the third period, once it became clear that the Suns are going to the finals.
Paul made 16 of his 24 shots from the field, missed just one three-pointer in eight attempts, adding 8 assists, all without a single turnover, making him just one of few people in history with such a confident performance.
Devin Booker was good support with 22 buckets, while Deandre Ayton once again delivered a strong double-double with 16 points and 17 boards. Jae Crowder was good as well, with 19 points, five hits from downtown.
Paul George didn’t have the power to repeat the performance from Game 5, scoring just 21 points with nine boards and shooting 6-for-15, 1-for-7 for three.
Marcus Morris was the best scorer for the Clips with 26 points and nine boards, but all the other players weren’t at the needed level. Reggie Jackson had just 13 points, Patrick Beverly 11, and DeMarcus Cousins 12 in 14 minutes off the bench.
Beverly would receive an ejection following unsportsmanlike behavior once he showed Paul in his back.
Overall, the Clippers couldn’t do better without three important players. At first, they would lose Serge Ibaka, one of the top five defensive big guys in the league. After that, Kawhi Leonard’s knee became a problem, and arguably the best player on the team couldn’t play.
The latest blow was Ivica Zubac’s injury, in the moments when he started playing pretty well and having a much higher usage than usual.
Phoenix now awaits the better from the Hawks vs. Bucks matchup. This is the first time since 1993 for this franchise to reach the finals and the first time for Chris Paul. The Suns eliminated the LA Lakers, Denver Nuggets, and the LA Clippers on their way up to here.