On Monday night the Los Angeles Clippers defeated the Phoenix Suns in Game 5 by a score of 116-102. Paul George was the star of the show as he single-handedly dismantled the Suns’ defense. In his 41 minutes on court, he delivered 41 points and had 13 rebounds and 6 assists. George will have to have two more games like this if the Clippers are to advance to their first-ever NBA Finals. The Suns just need one more win to make it to their franchise’s third NBA Finals appearance.
George will get most of the credit but Morris and Jackson played a huge part in this critical win for the Clippers. Morris accounted for 22 points, 3 rebounds and 2 assists while Reggie Jackson added 23 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 assists. With injuries knocking out Leonard and Ibaka the Clippers need Morris and Jackson to both come up big with George.
You would think the Suns at home with a chance to clinch the western conference would have come out on fire and emotional and they just didn’t. The Clippers came out aggressively and controlled the game from the outset. The Clippers dominated in the paint scoring 58 points and the Suns Deandre Ayton was a non-factor. The Suns only had 32 points in the paint and on offense turned the ball over 14 times. This was unlike what we have come to expect from the Suns who have done work in the paint during these playoffs.
As crazy as this may seem the Suns’ offense was better when Paul wasn’t on the floor. The Suns have a 97.7 offensive rating with CP3 on the floor and 112.3 with him off it. Paul has shot just 31 percent from the floor and a little over 12 percent from three-point range, if that doesn’t change the Suns will be in trouble.
It would be hard to believe that the Suns would come out without energy in this game. The Clippers have shown great resiliency in these playoffs but the Suns are a well-coached smart team that will make adjustments. This will be a tight game and I like the Suns to pull out a close one. Suns 104 Clippers 103.
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