The Phoenix Suns traveled to Crypto.com Arena to square off against the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday. The Suns are coming off a nail-biting loss to the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday.
Chris Paul is fending off his former Clipper squad that he called home for six seasons. The Clippers have made a statement early on in the season, taking care of the Sacramento Kings and Los Angeles Lakers thus far.
Even so, the Suns lead 61-41 at the half.
The Suns got off to the races with a 11-0 run during the first few minutes of the quarter. Phoenix made sure to capitalize off LA’s turnovers early, which allowed their run. Cameron Johnson was able to knock down two three-pointers early to help increase the Suns’ lead. Devin Booker has made an impact early as well, matching up against any defender in his path.
As time reached the four-minute mark of the first quarter, Booker was already up to 14 points. The Clippers as a whole had only managed to put up 10 points. Chris Paul was subbed out for Cameron Payne. Paul is still struggling to find his shot early into the season.
Backup center Jock Landale was effective on the glass, grabbing three rebounds through the first quarter.
The Suns seemed to further their distance on the Clippers during the opening minutes of the second quarter. The overall spacing on offense saw no real challenge from the Clippers, which saw an open three-pointer for Chris Paul.
Phoenix also continued to dominate in the rebounding area into the eight-minute mark. Phoenix had 21 rebounds at that timeframe compared to that of LA’s 10. As the momentum appeared, only a Kawhi Leonard appearance could help the Clippers in what was turning into a blowout.
At the seven-minute mark, the Suns were shooting 53 percent from the field with a 43-24 lead over the Clippers.
Leonard eventually entered the game around the six-minute mark, and he looked to make his presence known immediately after finishing a layup over Cameron Johnson through contact.
Despite Leonard’s efforts, it wasn’t enough to overtake a Suns squad that established itself during the first quarter.
A key part to the Suns’ success next half will be Ayton’s usage in the post. The Clippers are playing primarily small ball, which should allow Ayton to feast against smaller defenders. Ayton finished the first half with only seven points.