Phoenix Suns rest star players, drop final game of regular season to Los Angeles Clippers

Al McCoy, iconic and legendary Suns broadcaster honored yesterday for his final regular season game—known as “Voice of the Suns”


NEVN Photography

Footprint Center Easter Sunday

Preston Grace, Reporter

The Phoenix Suns fell to the Los Angeles Clippers 119-114 on Easter Sunday, and will face those very same Clippers in the opening round of the 2023 NBA Western Conference Playoffs next week.

Sunday’s game against the Clippers at Footprint Center in Phoenix was the 82nd time the two teams have played, and the very last game of the regular season.

If the Suns had won, they would have instead faced the Golden State Warriors in the first round.

The Suns were without Kevin Durant (left ankle injury management), Devin Booker (rest), Deandre Ayton (rest), Chris Paul (rest), Cameron Payne (low back soreness) and Bismack Biyombo (right knee bone contusion).

With most of their stars resting or healing up for the playoffs, the starting lineup for the Suns consisted of Saben Lee, Landry Shamet, Josh Okogie, Ish Wainright, and Jock Landale.

The Clippers seemed to struggle on defense throughout the first quarter.

It was easy buckets down low for Jock Landale early on, which led to open 3-pointers for he and his teammates.

The Clippers were out hustled for offensive rebounds, and their shot selection was questionable.  They were outscored by Phoenix 28-19 in the first quarter.

The momentum swung towards the Clippers early in the second quarter.

On offense, Phoenix started settling for jump shots and carelessly turned the ball over on several occasions, letting the Clippers back into the game.

Even so, Phoenix held it together for a 53-48 lead going into halftime.

Los Angeles blasted out of the locker room, going on a 11-0 run in the first seven minutes of the third quarter.

Despite the Clippers hot start to the second half, the Suns were able to capitalize on L.A.’s poor defense, making six, 3-point shots, and keeping themselves ahead by four points going into the last frame.

The Clippers started the new quarter hot again, but this time, they wouldn’t let the Suns back into the game.

With great performances by Russell Westbrook, Kawhi Leonard, and Norman Powell, the Clippers were able to solidify their spot in the playoffs.

Suns guard Saben Lee, who scored a career high 25 points in the game spoke to reporters after the game.

“I was feeling really good,” Lee said. “Being able to play with the guys, and just being able to be in rhythm with the guys and just compete felt really good.”

Lee, who was raised in the Valley, seemed excited to be able to put on a show for the Suns fans.

“It’s a great experience,” Lee said. “Just being here tonight — I’m grateful for it and it is a difference being from here and playing for my home team, so I like it a lot.”

Once the playoffs begin, Lee probably won’t get a lot of minutes. Knowing this, he wants to help however he can.

“I want to support the guys whichever way I can,” Lee said. “Still being loud and talkative, reminding people with coverage, and just helping any way that I can.”

Game 1 of the Suns vs Clippers opening round playoff series is scheduled for April 16 at Footprint Center.

At halftime, the Phoenix Suns honored legendary “Voice of the Suns” Al McCoy for his iconic coverage of the team for 51 seasons.