May 24, 2024

Brighton Journal

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Clippers 105-92 Suns (April 9, 2024) Game Summary

Clippers 105-92 Suns (April 9, 2024) Game Summary

PHOENIX – Russell Westbrook scored 16 points, grabbed 15 rebounds and provided 15 assists to achieve his first hat-trick of the season and the 199th of his career, as the Los Angeles Clippers took a 31-point lead in the first quarter before holding on late. They won 105-92 over the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday night.

It was an embarrassing early showing for the Suns, who are struggling to stay out of the Western Conference's play-in tournament. They eventually cut the deficit to 91-84 with 6:45 remaining on a Bradley Beal free throw, but they couldn't get any closer.

The Clippers, who were playing without their stars James Harden and Kawhi Leonard, achieved four consecutive victories and seven out of eight. They host the Suns on Wednesday in Game 2 of a home-and-home series.

“Our will to win was amazing,” Clippers coach Tyronn Lue said. “We came out with a defensive mindset, we were very physical, we were moving offensively. It's a great win against a really good team.”

Paul George was Los Angeles' top scorer with 23 points, and Ivica Zubac added 17 points and grabbed 13 rebounds. All five starters scored in double figures.

Westbrook had an outstanding game in his first game since November.

“It's not a surprise on my part because I know I prepare very well,” Westbrook said. “I take a lot of time to prepare for games, no matter how much time I spend on the floor. I'm grateful to my teammates, who have confidence in me.” “.

Phoenix shot just 2 of 19 from the field in the first quarter as the boos got progressively louder from the home crowd. Los Angeles led 35-4 in less than 10 minutes, when Phoenix went nearly six minutes without scoring.

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Fans cheered sarcastically as Devin Booker hit two free throws to end the drought.

Kevin Durant led the Suns with 21 points, while Beal scored 19 points, and Booker finished with 12 points, shooting only one of 11 shots from the field.

The Clippers continued to increase their lead in the second half. Bones Hyland hit a 3-pointer that made it 51-14, the largest lead of the night, and Los Angeles led 66-33 at halftime.

Booker, Durant and Beal combined to shoot 4-of-25 from the field before the break. The Sun scored two consecutive goals.

“We got some good looks early, we missed them,” Booker said. “They were hot and that's a bad combination for us.”

Phoenix showed some activity in the third quarter and closed the gap to 84-68 before the fourth quarter. Coach Frank Vogel went with a five-guard lineup for most of the second half, hoping the Suns could get back into the game.

It actually worked for a while, but they couldn't convert on 8-of-35 shooting (23%) from 3-point range.

Both teams were short-handed, though the Clippers were in worse shape. Los Angeles was missing Harden (foot) and Leonard (knee). Phoenix was playing without midfielder Jusuf Nurkic, who suffered a sprained right ankle.

It was the final home game of the season for the Suns, who finished the regular season with three road games against the Clippers, Kings and Timberwolves.