*THE THIRD QUARTER WAS THE DIFFERENCE: The Suns were not efficient, but still led 48-46 at halftime. In the third quarter, the Clippers outscored the Suns 34-21, including a 21-3 run to take a 71-56 lead. The third quarter stats didn’t lie – the Suns made just 6 of 17 shots, including two of six from behind the arc, with six assists and seven turnovers. The Clippers made 14 of 24 shots, including four of seven from behind the arc.
*DEVIN BOOKER HAS STRUGGLED THE LAST TWO GAMES AGAINST PATRICK BEVERLEY: Booker, playing with a face mask to protect his broken nose from Thursday night, made five of 21 shots, one of seven threes, and finished with 15 points. In Game Two, Booker made just five of 16 shots and scored 20 points. In Game One, Booker was seldom checked by Beverley and finished with 40 on 15 of 29 shooting.
*CHRIS PAUL WAS AFFECTED BY THE 11-DAY LAYOFF: Rust likely contributed to his 0 for 6 start and he was visibly gassed during long stretches of each half. For the game, Paul scored 15 points on five of 19 from the field.
*POINTS IN THE PAINT WAS TOTALLY DIFFERENT: The Suns outscored the Clippers 114-64 in points in the paint over the first two games. That tally was just 42-40 in Game Three.
*THE SUNS HAVE ANOTHER INJURY ISSUE: Cameron Payne sustained an ankle injury during the second quarter and did not return. Before the injury, he made just one of four field goal attempts in four minutes.
*THE CLIPPERS IMPROVED 9-1 IN THE 2021 PLAYOFFS AFTER FALLING DOWN ZERO-TWO: They won four of five to eliminate the Mavericks, won four straight to eliminate the Jazz and are now 1-0 against the Suns.