With the last game on Thursday before the All-Star break, the Phoenix Suns were looking to end on a high note. The Los Angeles Clippers were in town, and their two superstar forwards wouldn’t make it easy.
Kawhi Leonard had been on a tear in his last few outings, and Paul George has been showing signs of surging also. The Clippers made sure to keep things interesting with the Suns going into the fourth quarter.
It was the Clippers that were able to head into All-Star weekend with a win, beating the Suns 116-107.
Josh Okogie A Starter?
There’s been much conversation to be had over which player would be deployed as the fifth starter when Kevin Durant makes his debut.
Okogie has found his name in that list frequently.
Okogie was able to show fans one again why he’s a legit candidate. The 6-foot-4 forward kept the Suns alive early on in the contest. Okogie was able to 15 points in the first half alone, shooting 6-of-8 from the field.
Okogie was extremely active on the defensive front as well. He grabbed a steal while aiding in the Clippers’ nine turnovers for the half.
Okogie was able to finish the night with a team-high 24 points.
Terrence Ross Debut
Ross is a player that was easily coveted by a number of teams. The Suns, given their recent acquisition of Durant and the promise of a large role, won that sweepstake.
Ross was able to live up to his scoring reputation, putting up 16 points off the bench in 25 minutes. He shot 7-of-17 from the field overall.
Ross also had some notable assists, with one being to Deandre Ayton during his first minutes of action with the Suns. The Suns have long needed a shot-creator off the bench. With the second half of the season approaching, Ross may have been the best player available.
Terrance Mann Shoots the Lights Out
Leonard didn’t have his best night out on Thursday. His first made field goal didn’t come until the third quarter, putting him at 1-of-10 from the floor at the time.
Even with George having a decent night, the Clippers were in need of someone else. Mann answered the call, as he willed the Clippers to a small lead as time winded down in the third quarter. Mann was able to put up 26 points on the night.
He shot 10-of-12 from the field for the night, going 3-of-4 from three-point range. The Suns failed to capitalize on an off-shooting night from Leonard, allowing Mann to seize control of that duty.
Phoenix now heads into the All-Star break their last of games.
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