NBA, Clippers vs Suns, Los Angeles: Extending their winning streak to four games, Clippers overcomes Phoenix Suns challenge with a 111-95 win.
A points drought in the first two minutes of the game with both teams scoreless. However, coming at the end of the first quarter, it was the host leading 27-21 and now entering the second quarter which seems to be the favorite of the Los Angeles Clippers.
Chris Paul fired some midrange shots but it was countered out by Marcus Morris sr. Phoenix Suns were in foul trouble early and when centers for Clippers started passing around the ball with ease, they saw a double-digit lead heading into the halftime break, 56-44.
Zubac quietly had a hugely impactful game. With a handful of hustle plays, a couple of surprisingly exciting passes, and an overall autocratic defensive presence, Zubac took advantage of the injuries and foul trouble that forced the Suns to go small, for much of the game. Finishing the game with 10 points, five rebounds, and four blocks while he was in foul trouble himself in the third quarter.
Luckily, Hartenstein, the net rating leader for the Clippers is ready to step up. And while he may not be the physical lid on the basket that Zubac is, he makes up for it with an even harder motor and quicker feet.
Marcus Morris Sr. scoring 24 points, 11 rebounds showed his worth on both ends of the floor. In the absence of Paul George, Nic Batum, and Kawhi Leonard, he is proving to be a leader for the LA Clippers.
For the Suns, Chris Paul had a pale game with just nine points however dishing out eight assists. Mikal Bridges scored 16 points but in the absence of their star players, it was not enough.
The Clippers improve to a 14-1 record, over the last three seasons, when Morris Sr. scores 20 or more points in a game.
Another stellar performance came from Kennard scoring 16 points and 9 rebounds. Along with him, Terence Mann too proved handy contributing 17 points and 9 rebounds with 70% shooting.
The best performance for the suns came from the bench, Cameron Johnson scored 17 points grabbing 6 rebounds. While Cameron Payne scored 12 points off the bench too. The only fourth player to cross the double-digit was Javalee McGee. He racked up a double-double of 13 points and rebounds of a similar number.
It is hard to overemphasize just how impactful the Clipper’s defense was tonight. The term “stifling” is often thrown around by NBA media, but tonight the defense was truly stifling. And it took a total, team effort to get there.
The Clippers’ meticulousness on the defensive end, however, was counterbalanced by carelessness on the offensive end. With 16 turnovers, the Clippers passing and ball-handling leave for themselves room to improve. After shooting 18 free throws to the Suns’ two, in the first half, the Clippers gave up 19 free throws in the third quarter, while only generating two themselves.
Although both teams were shorthanded, it was an exciting contest to watch. The Clippers will visit Utah, seeking their fifth win in a row, on Wednesday.