Phoenix Suns bounce back after loss with thrilling game four win in L.A.

Clippers still without Kawhi Leonard


Daniel Moreno

The crowd was rocking at the Road Game Rally at Phoenix Suns Arena Saturday night

Daniel Moreno, Reporter

Even though the L.A. Clippers had home-court advantage and the support of the limited crowd at Staples Center Saturday night, they were still without star forward Kawhi Leonard, out for the last six games with an injured knee.

The Suns finally displayed their regular season form in game five, blazing ahead in the first quarter and not looking back.

With point guard Cameron Payne back in the lineup, the Suns didn’t just look reenergized, they seemed locked.

While most of the Suns’ fan base could not attend the game in L.A., they made themselves known with boundless energy at the Road Game Rally watch party at Phoenix Suns Arena.

With every Suns block, 3-pointer and dunk, the crowd back in Phoenix erupted for their home team.

Suns center Deandre Ayton got the ball rolling with a layup of a Chris Paul assist.

The Suns were clearly mentally refreshed after their loss on Thursday and set an early precedent on how they were going to play – aggressive and moving the ball fast.

Strong defensive help and rim protection in the second quarter allowed the Suns to expand on the lead they had built in the first.

Phoenix ended the first half up 50-36.

While the Suns stuck to their tendency of having a hot start, the Clippers displayed their usual second-half comeback.

Clippers point guard Reggie Jackson showed off his shooting ability with a mix of threes and pick and roll mid-range jump shots to draw the Clippers closer by the end of the third.

The Suns were also victimized by offensive rebounding from Clippers center Ivica Zubac.

After leading by as many as 16 points, the Suns ended the quarter barely ahead 69-66, with the Clippers hot on their heels.

While offense kept both teams in the game through the first three quarters, the fourth quarter was a defensive contest to the end.

The Suns endured multiple tough shots with the ball going in and out.  However, Paul’s layup with 3:43 remaining pulled the Suns out of their scoring slump.

Even though Phoenix was capitalizing on their momentum, shooting guard Devin Booker fouled out late in the game, after an offensive charge on Clippers point guard Patrick Beverly.

The end of the game came down to a series of free-throws, one of the only statistical categories the Suns enjoyed a sizeable advantage in.  The Suns outshot the Clippers from the foul line 86-66%, an aptitude that may have won them the game after a series of clutch, Paul free-throws.

Following the game, chants of “beat L.A” rang through the halls of Phoenix Suns Arena where the series returns Monday night.