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Apr 10, 2024 1:12 am

Russell Westbrook, Clippers hold off Suns’ comeback

Suns Clippers

Russell Westbrook recorded his first triple-double of the season with 16 points, 15 assists and 15 rebounds, and the Los Angeles Clippers rallied in the fourth quarter to hold off a furious push for what would have been a historic comeback by the host Phoenix Suns in a 105-92 decision on Tuesday.

Los Angeles (51-28) went on first-quarter runs of 9-0, 10-0 and 16-0 to lead by as many as 31 points in the opening period. The lead swelled to as many as 37 points in the second quarter.

Phoenix (46-33) came storming back with a 24-5 run from the end of the third quarter into the fourth.

The Suns continued to whittle down the deficit before pulling to within seven points midway through the fourth quarter. Having trailed by 37 points, Phoenix flirted with the largest comeback in NBA history – a 36-point rally by Utah against Denver in November 1996.

Paul George did his part to help Los Angeles avert landing on the wrong side of a landmark finish, scoring six of his game-high 23 points and dishing assists to Westbrook and Terance Mann down the stretch.

Twenty-eight of the Clippers’ 41 made field goals on 87 attempts were assisted, including five from George. The 15 assists Westbrook passed for, as well as his 15 rebounds, were both season highs for the NBA’s all-time career leader in triple-doubles.

Mann recorded a double-double in the win with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Ivica Zubac finished with 17 points and 13 rebounds.

The win – its fourth in a row – keeps Los Angeles two games ahead of Dallas for the No. 4 seed and home-court advantage in the opening-round of the playoffs. The Mavericks routed Charlotte earlier on Tuesday, 130-104.

The loss for Phoenix, coupled with New Orleans’ 110-100 win on Tuesday over Portland, dropped the Suns to seventh place in the West and out of the last guaranteed playoff spot.

Kevin Durant scored 21 points and Bradley Beal finished with 19 points in the loss as the Suns shot 8-of-35 from 3-point range.

The same two teams meet again on Wednesday in Los Angeles.

–Field Level Media

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