Sunday, June 20, 2021. 5:32 PM
The Phoenix Suns won Game 1 of the Western Finals against the Los Angeles Clippers 120-114 on Sunday.
Devin Booker provided 49 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists in his career opener in the association final, at 24, in also his first career hat-trick.
He is the fifth player in Suns history to achieve a triple-double in the playoffs, after Steve Nash, Jason Kidd, Penny Hardaway and Charles Barkley (twice).
DeAndre Ayton (20 pts) dominated him inside against the Clippers who did not defend well enough, evidenced by the 55% success on shots from Phoenix.
The Suns triumphed despite the absence of Chris Paul, who must follow COVID-19 health and safety protocol.
Paul, 36, started following the protocol on Wednesday.
In the previous round, the Suns swept the Denver Nuggets. Paul averaged 25.5 points per game with 58.3% efficiency on shots.
On the other hand, Kawhi Leonard was sidelined with a knee injury and he is also expected to be in the next game, which will be on Tuesday, still in Phoenix.
In his absence, Paul George had 34 points, but only 3 in the fourth quarter, compared to a total of 24 for Reggie Jackson who was particularly effective in the first quarter.
The Californians were more than tied for three quarters of the game, as they led (84-78).
Nicolas Batum was useful, although not very prolific offensively (5 pts, 10 rebounds, 3 assists).