The Los Angeles Clippers ran their home record to 20-8 this season, pushing past the Phoenix Suns 113-103 on Thursday in a battle of the second and third teams in the Western Conference standings.
For the Clippers’ second straight game, Paul George had the hot hand. Two nights after pouring in 36 points in a win over the Portland Trail Blazers, George scored 33. His 12 for 19 shooting included 7 of 9 from 3-point range.
Down by eight about midway through the second quarter, the Suns went on a 22-12 run to take a 56-54 at the half. They shot 65.7 percent from the field in the process,
The Clippers, who went 18 of 37 on 3-pointers for the game, hit 4 of 8 from long range in the third quarter and led 83-81 going into the fourth quarter.
Los Angeles extended that lead to as many as 14 in the final quarter and never trailed the rest of the way.
Patrick Beverley hounded Devin Booker, Phoenix’s top scorer, most of the evening, but the two-time All-Star still finished with 24 points. Mikal Bridges added 20 points and Deandre Ayton chipped in 18 points and 10 rebounds. Chris Paul totaled 13 points, seven rebounds and three assists.
While George had it going early, Kawhi Leonard took over in the second half, scoring 14 of his 27 points in the third quarter. New addition Rajon Rondo did a nice job of setting the table for the Clippers off the bench, finishing with 15 points, nine assists and no turnovers.
The back-and-forth affair had 15 lead changes and was tied 10 times. The game also included an ejection when Patrick Beverley’s foul on Paul with just over seven minutes left was determined to be unnecessary and excessive after a video review.
Beverley was on a minutes restriction, and finished scoreless with two rebounds in 17 minutes.
With the game in hand, L.A.’s Marcus Morris also was ejected for arguing with officials.
The loss snapped Phoenix’s seven-game winning streak and dropped the Sun’s NBA-best road record to 17-7.
The Clippers have won three in a row and nine of their last 11 games.
–Field Level Media