LOS ANGELES – After suffering a three-point loss yesterday to the Lakers, defeating a Phoenix Suns team with a healthy Devin Booker, Kevin Durant and Bradley Beal would be no easy feat. Not without a full-team effort.
But that’s exactly what the Los Angeles Clippers did to defeat the Suns for the second time in five days.
“Losing that game really woke us up,” Clippers coach Tyronn Lue said following Monday’s win. “Offensively, the ball moved and we created easy shots for one another.”
Turning point: A Paul George three-pointer just before the first quarter buzzer gave the Clippers a 34-31 lead. Fifteen points from James Harden and an 18-5 LA run in the second period alone provided the Clippers with even more breathing room.
The Clippers ed Phoenix 71-53 at the half and took control of the boards for the remainder of the game. LA reached 100 points in the third quarter.
What it means: Los Angeles advances to 23-13 to maintain their position as the fourth seed in the Western Conference. The team climbs to 18-10 against Western Conference opponents this year with Monday’s win while also reaching a four-game home winning streak.
The Clippers are now 2-0 against Phoenix this season, with two more regular season matchups scheduled between the two teams in April.
Hits: Clippers center Ivica Zubac scored the first four points for LA and continued to dominate at the rim from there. In 28 minutes, Zubac recorded 19 points on 8-of-9 shooting with eight rebounds, three assists and a steal.
He leads the NBA in FG% from 5-to-9 feet this season among players with at least 50 attempts, per Justin Russo from Substack.
“I want to be dominant in the paint, I want to protect the rim, I want to grab all the rebounds, I want to to finish strong,” stated Zubac on Monday. “It’s pretty easy when you got a point guard like James and Russ.”
Misses: Aside from an all-around impressive shooting night, the only misses that remained for Los Angeles were turnovers and fouls. Both the Clippers and Suns finished with 14 turnovers apiece. Twenty one fouls on the night from LA also kept the Suns in the game.
Stat of the game: George scored over 20 points Monday for his 11th straight game. The 11 games make for PG’s 4th longest streak of his career, according to Tomer Azarly of ClutchPoints.
The 33-year-old forward finished with 25 points on 10-of-19 shooting with seven rebounds in 31 minutes against Phoenix.
Up next: The Clippers will host the Toronto Raptors Wednesday in Los Angeles before heading out on a two-game road trip. The Memphis Grizzlies will take on Los Angeles Friday before the Clippers head to Minnesota to face the Timberwolves