Chris Paul’s return to Suns not enough to hold back surging Clippers in game three of Western Finals


Michael Tipton (Flickr)

The Suns lost Game 5 at home Saturday night

Daniel Moreno, Reporter

With Chris Paul returning from the NBA Health and Safety Protocols, the Phoenix Suns looked to capitalize off the momentum from their first two wins in the Western finals.

However, an early sprained ankle for Suns backup point guard Cameron Payne appeared to change the dynamic of the offense in an irreplaceable way. Not only does Payne bring a great amount of offense to the Suns, but also an immense amount of energy that couldn’t be filled.

Phoenix’s troubles appeared evident from the beginning of the game.

The Sun’s relaxed defense and unproductive passing game would linger as the game continued.

Clippers point guard Reggie Jackson continued his offensive consistency with an outstanding first quarter performance — leading the Clippers to an eight-point lead to end the first quarter.

Phoenix was able to claw their way back at the beginning of the second quarter through an impressive effort that was necessary but did not last long.

In the second half, the Clippers would end their poor three-point shooting performance, while, Paul and Suns shooting guard Devin Booker would continue suffering through their disappointing shooting performance where a turnaround was needed.

The Clippers seemed to take momentum away from the stumbling Suns through a barrage of shots from shooting guard Paul George and Jackson, putting them ahead by double digits.

The cherry on top was an absolute dagger from George as he hit a half-court heave to end the third, putting the Clippers up 11, 69-80.

When it appeared that the Clippers had completely smothered the heat from the Suns, Paul looked to make one last effort to get the Suns back in contention in the middle of the fourth.

However, every time the Suns looked to make a comeback, Jackson was there to stop it.

With Clippers point guard Patrick Beverly not allowing Booker see the light of day, there was no comeback insight for the Suns as they lost the game but still lead the series 2-1.

Game four is scheduled for Saturday night in L.A.