After Paul George missed two late free throws that could have clinched the victory for the Clippers, and Deandre Ayton’s dunk on an out of bounds play with .8 seconds on the clock, the Phoenix Suns hold a 2-0 lead in their best-of-seven series with the Los Angeles Clippers in the Western Conference finals. Down two games heading back home, Game 3 will be a must win game for the Clippers. Let’s take a closer look at both teams and how they arrive to Game 3 of the Western Conference Final series so you can keep placing your bets against their NBA Conference Championship odds.
NBA Western Conference Finals: Phoenix Suns vs. LA Clippers Game 3 Betting Preview
In their 104-103 victory in Game 2, some unlikely sources played big for the Suns. Cameron Payne, who replaced Chris Paul in the starting lineup, scored a game-high 29 points to lead the Suns. Los Angeles did a much better job of holding Devin Booker in check than they did in Game 1.
No Strange Spot for the Clippers
This is familiar territory for the Clippers, as they have been down 0-2 in every series of the playoffs. Coming back from this deficit is something that they’ve done twice, and are looking to do for the third time. They’ll be looking to break Phoenix’s nine-game winning streak. One thing that could hurt the Clippers chances of winning Game 3 is the return of Chris Paul.
Floor General is Back for the Suns
After winning their semifinal series with the Denver Nuggets, the Suns and the NBA announced that Chris Paul was being put into the league’s COVID-19 protocol after testing positive for the virus. Paul has missed the first two games of the series, but it is being reported that Paul will be ready to play in Game 3.
Having Paul back on the floor will bring a whole new dynamic to the Suns offense. First off, it will take a lot of pressure off of Devin Booker. Although Payne is a point guard, Booker was looked upon to run the offense. Paul is also a better distributor than either of the other two guards, so this will open things up for the shooters, and will help Deandre Ayton as well. Paul’s leadership will also be welcomed back to the fold.
Clippers Leader Remains Out
It is unlikely that we’ll see the return of Kawhi Leonard for the Clippers. Los Angeles will once again be relying on Paul George to carry the load. George has played well in the first two games, but those missed free throws could come back to haunt him. George has the reputation of folding come playoff time, and he was really looking to shed that image this postseason. We’ll see how he reacts after missing two big shots on Tuesday night.
The Clippers are going to need more contributions from their secondary players if they’re going to avoid going down 3-0. Reggie Jackson and Terrence Mann have yet to play well in this series, and the Clippers will need bigger contributions from their bench. Rajon Rondo has yet to play like he has in past playoff series. Without Kawhi, it’s obvious that the Clippers really could’ve used Lou Williams, who they traded for Rondo at the deadline.
We’ll see if the Clippers can rebound from a tough loss, or if the Suns momentum will carry them to another victory. Game 3 should be a fun one in the City of Angels!