Clippers 105-92 Suns (Apr 9, 2024) Game Recap

PHOENIX — — Russell Westbrook had 16 points, 15 rebounds and 15 assists for his first triple-double of the season and 199th of his career, and the Los Angeles Clippers took a 31-point first-quarter lead before holding on shot late. a 105-92 victory over the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday night.

It was an embarrassing start for the Suns, who are fighting to stay out of the Western Conference play-in tournament. They finally rallied to cut the lead to 91-84 with 6:45 left on Bradley Beal’s free throw, but couldn’t get any closer.

The Clippers – who were playing without All-Stars James Harden and Kawhi Leonard – have won four in a row and seven of eight. They host the Suns on Wednesday in Game 2 of the home-and-home series.

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

Paul George led Los Angeles with 23 points while Ivica Zubac added 17 points and 13 rebounds. All five starters scored in double figures.

Westbrook had a remarkable game in his first start since November.

“No surprise on my part because I know I prepare very well,” Westbrook said. “I take a lot of time to prepare for games, regardless of the time spent on the field. I am grateful to my teammates, who believe in me.”

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

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

Kevin Durant led the Suns with 21 points while Beal had 19. Booker finished with 12, shooting just 1 of 11 from the field.

The Clippers continued to extend their lead in the second. Bones Hyland made a 3-pointer that made the score 51-14 – which was the largest lead of the night – and Los Angeles took a 66-33 lead into halftime.

Booker, Durant and Beal combined to shoot 4 of 25 from the field before the break. The Suns have lost two games in a row.

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

Phoenix showed some life in the third quarter, closing the gap to 84-68 heading into the fourth. Coach Frank Vogel opted for 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 overcome 8-of-35 (23%) shooting from 3-point range.

Both teams were shorthanded, although the Clippers were in worse shape. Los Angeles was missing Harden (foot) and Leonard (knee). Phoenix was playing without starting center Jusuf Nurkic, who is dealing with a sprained right ankle.

This was the final home game of the season for the Suns, who close out the regular season with three away games against the Clippers, Kings and Timberwolves.



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