Bob Kemp

GAME ONE – SUNS 120, CLIPPERS 114

BOTTOMLINE
        *THE SUNS WERE EXPECTED TO WIN GAME ONE: The Suns, after not playing for a week, predictably had more energy than the Clippers who have played 14 playoff games, including three since the Suns advanced with their sweep of the Nuggets.
        *DEVIN BOOKER’S LACK OF RESPECT CARD HAS EXPIRED: With Chris Paul out because of COVID protocal, Booker  delivered 40 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists, his first career triple-double (regular season or post season). He played 44 minutes, including all 24 after halftime, with just two turnovers, especially impressive when considering how often he had the ball.
        *THE SUNS PASSING WITHOUT CHRIS PAUL WAS IMPRESSIVELY EFFICIENT: They had 31 assists on 49 made field goals with just seven turnovers without the league’s best true point guard.
        *THE SUNS DID MISS PAUL IN CRUNCH TIME: The Suns led 116-106 with 1:59 remaining, but, after three consecutive bad possessions, the lead was just 116-114 with :22 remaining before Booker scored on a side-out dunk following a Monty Williams time out.
        *THE SUNS DOMINATED THE PAINT: The Suns outscored the Clippers 54-34 in the paint, much of that DeAndre Ayton who finished 10 of 14 from the field, including seven of 10 in the first half when the Clippers opted to go small.
        *PAUL IS DAY-TO-DAY: Williams revealed that information when asked during the post-game presser, but also said the Suns are “hopeful” that Paul will play in Tuesday’s Game Two.