Our Clients:

Field Level Media - Professional sports content solutions | FLM

Apr 10, 2024 9:55 am

Suns look to atone for sluggish start in rematch vs. Clippers

Phoenix Suns

After the Phoenix Suns’ embarrassing first-half performance in an eventual loss to the visiting Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday, Phoenix will not have to wait long for a rematch.

The Suns scored just 10 first-quarter points and 33 in the first half of a 105-92 defeat. Phoenix looked nothing like a team desperate to gain one of six guaranteed Western Conference playoff spots.

The Suns and Clippers will play again Wednesday night, this time at Los Angeles.

The Clippers (51-28) moved to the cusp of clinching the No. 4 spot and home-court advantage in a first-round series. They at least guaranteed themselves a 4-5 matchup in the first round and will be the No. 4 seed with one victory in their last three games, or a Dallas Mavericks defeat.

Still without Kawhi Leonard (knee injury) for the fifth consecutive game, Los Angeles won its fourth straight game behind 23 points from Paul George and a turn-back-the-clock triple-double from Russell Westbrook, who had 16 points, 15 rebounds and 15 assists.

In becoming the first Clippers player with at least 15 points, 15 rebounds and 15 assists in a game, Westbrook also started the game guarding Suns star Kevin Durant.

“Every night I have defended at a high level since the start of the season, and I take pride in defending every night, knowing tendencies, knowing what guys like to do,” Westbrook said. “Kevin is one of the best scorers the game has ever had. My job will be difficult. But he can’t score if he doesn’t touch it.”

The Suns (46-33) shot 28.3 percent from the floor in the first half, when they trailed by as many as 37 points. But they hope some second-half momentum carries over into Wednesday’s game against the Clippers.

Phoenix pulled within seven points at 91-84 with 6:46 remining and had enough time on the clock to pull off the biggest comeback in NBA history. The Suns were never able to get any closer, however.

When Tuesday started, the Suns held the No. 6 spot in the West on a tiebreaker over the New Orleans Pelicans. But they dropped to the No. 7 spot and a play-in tournament possibility with the loss and the Pelicans’ 110-100 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers.

“We didn’t play well enough in the first quarter, we didn’t execute, and when we did, we didn’t make shots,” said Suns coach Frank Vogel, whose team made 8 of 35 shots from 3-point range (22.9 percent). “When we got down, we started pressing, and it snowballed.”

Phoenix held Los Angeles to 18 points in the third quarter and 39 in the second half while still falling short. Durant overcame six-point performance in the first half to finish with 21 in the game.

Phoenix’s Devin Booker scored just 12 points on 1-of-11 shooting from the floor. He made 10 of 11 free throws.

“We have to compete for spots and play through physicality better, and not just this game but in recent games,” Vogel said. “Teams want to get into us and re-route us and foul us. … Offensively, we have to be tougher.”

–Field Level Media

You may also like

gobert wembanyama
May 21, 2024 2:28 pm

Rudy Gobert, Victor Wembanyama anchor All-Defensive team

Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert and fellow Frenchman and Rookie of the Year Victor Wembanyama anchor the NBA All-Defensive first team announced Tuesday. The Minnesota Timberwolves veteran and…

connecticut sun
May 20, 2024 9:55 pm

Fever competitive but lose to Sun to remain winless

Tyasha Harris scored 13 of her 16 points in the fourth quarter, including two critical free throws with 11.3 seconds left, as the Connecticut Sun defeated the Indiana Fever 88-84…

ionescu
May 20, 2024 9:24 pm

Sabrina Ionescu, Liberty get by Storm to move to 4-0

Sabrina Ionescu scored a game-high 20 points and dished out eight assists Monday night as the unbeaten New York Liberty never trailed in a 74-63 win over the visiting Seattle…

More Basketball News

gobert wembanyama
May 21, 2024 2:28 pm

Rudy Gobert, Victor Wembanyama anchor All-Defensive team

Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert and fellow Frenchman and Rookie of the Year Victor Wembanyama anchor the NBA All-Defensive first team announced Tuesday. The Minnesota Timberwolves veteran and…

connecticut sun
May 20, 2024 9:55 pm

Fever competitive but lose to Sun to remain winless

ionescu
May 20, 2024 9:24 pm

Sabrina Ionescu, Liberty get by Storm to move to 4-0

Dearica Hamby
May 20, 2024 8:38 pm

Mystics, Sparks look to end winless starts to season

copper mercury
May 20, 2024 8:04 pm

Aces aim for 3-0 start against Kahleah Copper, Mercury

Read all
fb-post
advertisment
title-icon

Upcoming events

See all odds