Suns hold off Clippers in Game 4 to move one win from NBA FInals
LOS ANGELES — The Phoenix Suns finished with an 84-80 win over the Los Angeles Clippers in Game 4 of the Western Conference finals on Saturday at Staples Center, a game that cemented a 3-1 series lead after both teams struggled to generate offense.
Clippers forward Paul George missed a pair of free throws while the Suns held an 81-78 lead with 6.3 seconds left. After George’s intentional miss on the second foul shot, Clippers forward DeMarcus Cousins grabbed a rebound and drew a foul. After making the first shot, Cousins intentionally missed but lost possession because he hit the shot off the backboard.
Before that, Suns guard Chris Paul made a pair of foul shots to give the Suns an 81-78 lead with seven seconds left after the Clippers intentionally fouled him. On the previous play, Suns guard Mikel Bridges fouled George with 13.2 seconds left to prevent the chance of the Clippers forcing overtime with a buzzer-beating 3-pointer. He made both foul shots then.
The Suns’ Devin Booker (25 points), Deandre Ayton (19 points, 22 rebounds) and Paul (18 points, seven assists) finished with double figures. But the Suns shot only 36% from the field and 20% from 3-point range.
The Clippers did not fare much better. George (23 points), Reggie Jackson (20), Ivica Zubac (13) and Terance Mann (12) all scored in double figures in the team’s sixth consecutive game without Kawhi Leonard because of a right knee injury. But the Clippers also struggled on offense from the field (32.5%) and from deep (16.1%).
The Clippers and Suns combined to miss 16 consecutive shots over a nearly four-minute stretch in the fourth quarter.
The Suns play a potentially decisive Game 5 in Phoenix on Monday.