The Los Angeles Clippers routinely took care of their business tonight by beating the Phoenix Suns at the Staple, 120-99. Doc Rivers’ boys didn’t have any particular troubles against the guests from Arizona, posting the 21st win of the season, and staying in the second place of the Western Conference standings.
“We trying to win as many games as possible,” said Pat Beverly during the on-court interview. “We understand it is a real competitive league, but anybody we play, we try to win, that is our mindset.”
The trio Leonard-George-Williams led the hosts tonight with all three of them pouring from all the positions and making the Suns uncomfortable on both ends of the floor. Each of these guys scored 20 or more points, with a solid percentage from the field.
These three guys dropped 64 points and were a problem for the guys from Phoenix who didn’t know how to stop them. Each time when one of them was on the floor, the Clippers’ offense was working impeccably.
Paul George had a team-high with 24 points, shooting 8 for 17 from the field, and posting three steals. Leonard and Williams each dropped 20 buckets. The Claw had 6 rebounds along with that, while Williams hit five threes in seven attempts, and had 8 assists. Sweet Lou would, as always, explode in the last quarter and deliver 12 points.
As for the game, the hosts were in control already after the first period. They would take over the lead midway through the first period after a 9-0 series, and pull away to a nice distance, which was kept until the end of the sequence, 31-23.
Phoenix would cut the deficit to just four points during the middle of the second quarter, but that was just a momentarily push, after which the Clippers broke their defiance. It was 10 points at the break, and after the third quarter, 21 buckets. Eventually, that was the gap in the end, with the Suns managing to stay unbeaten in at least one period in this clash.
“If we could make a defensive run, the shots were going to fall. And that’s what happened,” Doc Rivers explained how his team created the lead.
Their defense wasn’t up to the task of restraining one of the top favorites for taking the title. The Clippers posted 50% from the field and scored 14 threes in 32 attempts, 43.8%. However, what is surprising is that the guests had more rebounds, 50-44, from which they had 16 offensive, but couldn’t utilize that fact.
Kelly Oubre Jr. had a team-high 19 points for the guests, DeAndre Ayton 18 with 12 boards, while Frank Kaminsky, who came off the bench, added 12 and had 9 boards. Kaminsky could become a part of the Serbian national team pretty soon, and after that came up, he’s been posting some solid performances.
The Clippers are now 14-1 at home, the best record in the West, with their only loss being the one against the Bucks on November 6. Back then, they lost narrowly, but without Kawhi and PG. They will now have to games against the teams from Texas. The first one at home vs. Houston Rockets, and after that, Kawhi and the boys head for San Antonio. Clips’ already defeated Harden and his crew once before this season.
In the meantime, the Suns (11-16) visit Oklahoma, before hosting the Rockets and the Nuggets.
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.