Devin Booker drops 47 points as the Phoenix Suns come back from double-digit, second-half deficit vs. LA Clippers to reach the Western Conference semifinals and set up matchup with No. 1-seeded Nuggets
- Devin Booker was the star of the show at the Footprint Center on Tuesday night
- Kevin Durant also impressed scoring 31 points as Suns took first-round series 4-1
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Devin Booker scored 47 points, including 25 in the third quarter as the Phoenix Suns advanced to the Western Conference semifinals with a 136-130 series-clinching victory over the visiting Los Angeles Clippers.
The Suns roared back from a double-digit, second-half deficit on Tuesday to setup a second-round matchup with the Denver Nuggets after they overcame the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Kevin Durant scored 31 points and Deandre Ayton added 21 points with 11 rebounds as the No. 4-seed Suns recovered from a Game 1 defeat to roll through the remainder of the series by winning the next four contests.
‘It was spiritual,’ Durant said of watching Booker’s third quarter.
‘I don’t scream too much in games as I get older, but when he hit that 3 at the top of the key, I felt that energy and I know everyone in the crowd felt it. We feed off his aggression.’
Devin Booker was the star of the show as he scored 47 points as the Suns advanced on Tuesday
Kevin Durant also starred as Phoenix beat LA Clippers to reach Western Conference semifinals
Booker dropped 25 points in the third quarter as the Suns advanced to playoff second round
‘When he’s going like that, we’re not calling any plays,’ Suns coach Monty Williams said.
Phoenix is set to face the No. 1-seeded Nuggets next, which starts Saturday at Denver.
Norman Powell scored 27 points and Ivica Zubac added 16 points and 10 rebounds as the short-handed Clippers played without Paul George (knee) the entire series and lost Kawhi Leonard (knee) following Game 2. Los Angeles nearly erased a 20-point deficit in the fourth quarter.
Mason Plumlee had 20 points and Russell Westbrook added 14 for the Clippers, who were considered a title contender at the start of the season but lacked consistency as George and Leonard struggled with injuries.
The Clippers carved out a 71-61 lead early in the third quarter before the Suns went to work. Phoenix grabbed an 80-79 lead with 6:18 remaining in the third after a Booker dunk. It was Phoenix’s first lead since 6:18 remained in the first half.
Booker then supplied 12 points in an 18-0 Suns run that gave them a 104-86 lead with 1:24 remaining in the third quarter. Phoenix outscored Los Angeles 50-24 in the period by shooting 63 percent (17 of 27) from the field while taking a 111-94 lead.
‘I think it’s a good lesson for us moving forward,’ Booker said. ‘Don’t play with your food. Finish out as strong as you can. Keep playing all the way until the whistle blows.’
Westbrook had a flagrant foul late in the third quarter as the game began to slip away and Bones Hyland had another early in the fourth period for Los Angeles. But the Clippers rallied with consecutive 3-pointers from Nicolas Batum, Powell, Terance Mann and Batum again to pull within 128-125 with 3:19 remaining.
The Clippers were within 132-130 with under two minutes remaining but could not get any closer as Durant scored the last four points of the game. Chris Paul had 15 points and seven assists for Phoenix, while Josh Okogie added 11 points.
Russell Westbrook’s season is over after the Clippers fell to a 4-1 first-round series defeat
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