Suns vs Clippers Game 3

Suns vs Clippers Game 3 | Phoenix Hopeful Chris Paul Returns For Western Finals

The Phoenix Suns are up 2-0 in their Western Conference Finals series against the Los Angeles Clippers and could get star point guard Chris Paul back from COVID protocols for Game 3 on Thursday as it shifts to Los Angeles. Paul’s return certainly would affect the NBA odds, and it sounds as if he will play.

How to Bet Suns at Clippers NBA Odds & TV Info

  • When: Thursday, 9 PM ET
  • Where: Staples Center
  • TV: ESPN
  • Stream: ESPN app
  • Radio: Tunein.com

Why Bet on Phoenix?

In a play that will be remembered forever by Suns fans, Phoenix stole Game 2 on Tuesday, 104-103, on a shocking Deandre Ayton all-oop dunk from an out-of-bounds play with less than one second remaining. Jae Crowder threw the perfect pass. While the Suns technically had time for a catch-and-shoot, its difficult to execute one cleanly with that little time left, so Monty Williams drew up a play for a tip-in at the basket. It worked to perfection.

Ayton became the third 3rd Suns player in history to make a go-ahead shot inside the final second of a playoff game over the last 25 postseasons. Stephon Marbury had one in 2003 (buzzer-beater) and Boris Diaw had one in 2006 (0.5 seconds left). Ayton finished with 24 points on 12-for-15 shooting along with 14 rebounds. He has four double-doubles over his last six games and has scored at least 20 points three times during that span. Ayton is the first player with 5 games of at least 20 points on 70% shooting in a single postseason since Dwight Howard in 2009.

Star guard Devin Booker had 20 points on 5-for-16 shooting and reportedly broke his nose on a headbutt from Patrick Beverly in the third quarter that left him bleeding, and caused him to head to the locker room and get stitches before later returning for the fourth quarter. Booker likely will wear a mask going forward.

Cameron Payne scored a career-high 29 points on 12-of-24 shooting with nine assists and zero turnovers in the comeback win. He has been starting in place of star Chris Paul, who is out in COVID protocols.

There are reports Paul will return for Game 3. In order to be eligible to clear the health and safety protocols, he needs to turn in two negative PCR tests at least 24 hours apart and also pass a cardiac exam before returning to the lineup. Paul has been asymptomatic while away from the team in Los Angeles. He passed the cardiac test Wednesday.

Should Paul be cleared to play in Game 3, Williams said he will not hesitate to throw his point guard directly into the fire.

“I’m sure if I tried to keep Chris out of the game, we’d have to square off and go toe-to-toe,” Williams said before Game 2. “So we’ll just make that assessment when the time comes.”

The Suns have won a franchise-record nine straight in the playoffs.

Why Bet on LA Clippers?

The Clippers are already the only team in NBA history to overcome multiple 2-0 deficits and win in the same postseason. They lost the first two at home in the first round before overcoming Dallas in seven games, and they lost the first two in Utah before beating the Jazz four straight times.

And now they are down 2-0 again, falling 104-103 in Game 2 in Phoenix. The Clippers never trailed by more than seven points, even though the Suns led for roughly 38 minutes.

They likely wouldn’t be down 2-0, though, if not for two missed free throws late in the fourth quarter of Game 2 by Paul George. The 85% career free throw shooter missed both with 8.2 seconds remaining and his team up 103-102.

For most of the game, George struggled, his rhythm affected by the heavy load he’s had to carry with Kawhi Leonard injured. In the last four games, George has played at least 40 minutes three times. He finished with 26 points on 10-for-23 shooting with six rebounds and six assists in 41 minutes.  Even though the veteran forward has scored at least 25-plus points in seven straight playoff games, it’s undeniable that he came up short for Los Angeles when it mattered the most.

“I’m always confident at the free throw line. I’ve always been very successful in clutch moments at the free-throw line,” he said. “I was just unsuccessful extending the lead. So I’m not going to put too much on that. Fact of the matter is, we still were in position to win a ballgame late in the game.”

Reggie Jackson was huge offensively again, especially through the first three quarters when George was struggling. Jackson finished with 19 points on 7-of-15 shooting (3-of-7 3-pointers) to go with five rebounds and three assists. Marcus Morris played through knee soreness to score seven points on 3-of-11 shooting with five rebounds in 25 minutes.

Ivica Zubac registered 14 points and 11 rebounds. Zubac was a surprise addition to the starting lineup for Game 2 after coach Ty Lue chose a small lineup in the series opener. While he finished with a double-double, he also had major problems with Deandre Ayton and was unable to defend the Suns’ big man on the sequence that led to the game-winning dunk.

The Clippers have played their past four without superstar without Kawhi Leonard, who is dealing with a knee injury suffered in the second round against the Utah Jazz. He did not travel with the Clippers to Phoenix after missing both Game 5 and 6 of the second round against Utah. It’s not likely Leonard plays here.

Game Trends

  • Suns are 10-3 ATS in their last 13 games as a road underdog.
  • Suns are 23-8 ATS in their last 31 games following a ATS loss.
  • Clippers are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 home games.
  • Clippers are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a straight up loss.
  • Clippers are 10-4 ATS in their last 14 Thursday games.

Expert Prediction

  • Suns 117, Clippers 115

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