Clippers fight back, Phoenix Suns lose game five of Western Conference finals at home

Suns still lead series 3-2

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Michael Tipton (Flickr)

Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks came alive at home in Game 3 of the Finals

Daniel Moreno, Reporter

The proverbial roof was set to come off the Phoenix Suns Arena on Monday night.  A Suns win would have put the team in the Finals and already excited Phoenix fans into a frenzy.  But the “comeback Clippers” have faced elimination three other times in these playoffs and come out unscathed.

The Suns had no reason to believe L.A. would go down without a fight.

The Suns started slow, allowing the clippers to get out to an early 7-0 lead, off of easy missed shots on the Sun’s side and tough buckets from the Clippers.

Clipper’s small forward Marcus Morris took advantage of the smaller matchup with Suns shooting guard Devin Booker, scoring 13 first-quarter points.

The Clippers ended the first quarter with a ten point lead.

Clippers center Demarcus Cousins started the second quarter strong for L.A., with three field goals in just over a minute.

Booker and Suns point guard Chris Paul kept Phoenix in the game and tightened the score to 59-52 with a Booker, halftime buzzer-beating, 3-pointer.

But just when the Suns thought they were closing in, Clippers shooting guard Paul George exploded for a much-needed offensive third quarter. While George had a quiet first half, he couldn’t miss during the second, making shots from everywhere on the court despite good defense. George would go on to score 20 points in the third, giving the Clippers a 13 point lead at the end of the quarter.

The fourth quarter looked much the same as the rest.

George and point guard Reggie Jackson continued to control the pace of the game and not allow the Suns to come back.

The Clippers ended the game with a commanding 14 point victory, 116-102.

Even though the Suns got close a few times, they were not able to take control of the game — allowing the Clippers to maintain momentum throughout most of contest.

The Clippers elected to stay with a smaller lineup that should have allowed Suns Center Deandre Ayton to make a larger impact, but he didn’t seem able to take advantage of the matchup.

The Suns will look to eliminate the Clippers again on Wednesday night as the series returns to Los Angeles.