Tune-In Tidbits: Western Conference finals, Game 2
Get ready for Tuesday's Game 2 of the West Finals on ESPN with five key stats to know about the matchup.
Brian Martin, for NBA.com
Game 2: Clippers at Suns
• The Suns beat the Clippers in Game 1 behind Devin Booker’s first career triple-double (40 points, 13 rebounds, 11 assists). It was Booker’s second time this season reaching double-digit assists in a game, which was particularly important for Phoenix’s offense without Chris Paul (who will miss Game 2). Booker also became the fourth youngest player ever to record a 40+ point triple-double in a playoff game (Luka Doncic once in 2020 and Oscar Robertson twice in 1963), the first Suns player to record a triple-double in the playoffs since Steve Nash in 2005 and the second player in franchise history to record a 40+ point triple-double in the playoffs since Charles Barkley in 1993.
• The Clippers had three players — Terance Mann (5:02), Rajon Rondo (2:31) and Patrick Beverley (2:19) defend Booker for at least two minutes of matchup time in Game 1. Mann allowed 16 points on 7-for-11 shooting and two assists; Rondo allowed seven points on 3-3 shooting but force one turnover; Beverley allowed only two points on 1-2 shooting and forced two turnovers. Paul George defended Booker for 1:06 and Booker did not have a shot attempt.
• George led the Clippers with 34 points, only five of which he scored in 4:55 against his primary defender, Mikal Bridges (15% of his points in 35% of his offensive matchup time). Reggie Jackson stepped up for the Clippers as the number two scorer with 24. Since Kawhi has been out, George is averaging 33.0 ppg with a 33.5% usage rate (up from 24.9 ppg and 27.9% usage with Leonard), while Jackson has averaged 24.3 points on 56% shooting. Leonard (knee) remains sidelined and will miss Game 2.
• Heading into Game 1 of the Western Conference finals, the Clippers led all playoff teams in fewest fast break points allowed (6.2) and fewest points in the paint allowed (37.7). In Game 1, the Suns outscored the Clippers 16-4 in fast break points and 54-34 in points in the paint. All 20 of Deandre Ayton’s points came inside the paint, as he shot 10-14 (71.4%), with only two attempts outside of five feet.
• The Clippers shot 20-47 (42.6%) from 3-point range during Game 1. This was the seventh time this season and the 12th time in team history (regular season and playoffs combined) that the Clippers made at least 20 3-pointers. This was their first loss in those 12 games. The Clippers led the NBA in 3-point percentage during the regular season (41.1%) and rank third in the postseason (40.3%).