Phoenix Suns: 3 Ways to Stop The Clippers From Making This a Series

Phoenix Suns (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Phoenix Suns (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /
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Outworked, overrun, and with little rhythm, the Phoenix Suns dropped Game 3 against the Los Angeles Clippers Thursday night, losing 92-106. Even with the Chris Paul returning to the team, and the Clippers once more playing without Kawhi Leonard, LA managed to control the game seemingly from start to finish, only trailing for a few minutes before and after halftime.

Having already dug their way out from two seperate 0-2 holes so far this postseason, the Clippers offer new meaning to the term “resiliency,” and with their victory last night, they laid the ground work for another potential come from behind effort.

It feels strange to admit given his incredible play prior to it, but Devin Booker undoubtedly hurt his team last night, shooting 5-21 while turning the ball over four times. Paul mirrored Booker’s struggles with a forgettable performance for himself, shooting 5-19 on field goals, and 2-7 from deep. The two formerly averaged a combined 44.0 points per game this postseason, but only scored 30 together during the contest.

Making matters worse, Cameron Payne went down towards the first quarter’s closing seconds while scrambling for a loose ball and rolling his left ankle. He never returned to the floor, and his absence kept the Suns looking handcuffed to each other from that point on, moving with little fluidity and pace.

But amidst all these troubles, the Suns need to remind themselves that they are not the Dallas Mavericks, nor are they the Utah Jazz. The Clippers chasing down their previous two opponents alone does not promise a similar fate for the Suns. If anything, it should make them more cautious and prepared to deal with the Clippers if they once again begin to conjure up a rally.

To mount a defense, the Suns need to keep LA’s singular win from last night isolated from any others. If the Clippers tie up the series, the momentum building might become too strong to ignore. To prevent this from happening, Phoenix needs to accomplish these three tasks.