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LOS ANGELES, USA – The Phoenix Suns won for the first time since losing center Deandre Ayton to a 25-game suspension for a failed drug test while also halting a 12-game losing skid to NBA title contender Los Angeles Clippers.
“I thought we were late on everything. We deserved to lose,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said.
The Suns held off a fourth-quarter charge by the Clippers to squeeze out a 130-122 win on Saturday, October 26 (Sunday, October 27, Philippine time) for their first victory in the series in 3 years.
Devin Booker scored 30 points, Kelly Oubre added 20 as the Suns outgunned the Kawhi Leonard-led Clipper offense in front of a crowd of 18,000 at the Talking Stick Resort Arena.
“That’s going to be our identity,” said Booker. “It is a whole different mindset. A whole different mentality. We are all moving as one and we are sticking together.”
The Clippers were led by Montrezl Harrell’s 28 points and 27 from Leonard.
Phoenix led by 15 points halfway through the final quarter but the Clippers cut it to 6 on Leonard’s three-pointer with less than two minutes remaining. Phoenix’s Tyler Johnson then drained a shot from beyond the arc to blunt the Los Angeles rally.
Frank Kaminsky had 18 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assists for the Suns, who have won two of the season’s first 3 games for the first time since 2015.
“Holding that team to 22 points in the 1st quarter means we got off to a great start. They were the Clippers, but we were pretty good,” said coach Monty Williams. – Rappler.com