Phoenix Suns vs. Los Angeles Clippers Prediction: Game 5 Picks
A trip to the Finals is on the line. Can Phoenix get it done? Let’s take a look.
Phoenix Suns vs. Los Angeles Clippers Prediction
It’s hard to put into words just how brutal LA’s offense was for most of Saturday night.
In what was the lowest scoring game of the 2021 postseason, the Clippers had exactly one quarter of effective offense – the third, in which they scored 30 points. Los Angeles netted a total of 50 points combined in the other three quarters, including the 4th, when they scored just 14.
But even that number is deceiving. After the Suns had multiple three-point leads late in the game, they intentionally fouled the Clippers several times to prevent them from even getting an attempt up at tying the game. If you take away the four points that came as a result of those free throws in the last 15 seconds, LA had just 10 points in the period. Throw in the fact that they scored four points in the opening two minutes of the fourth, and the result is that the home team scored just six points in a roughly 10-minute span with the game on the line.
The most staggering part was how they did it. The most proficient 3-point shooting team in NBA history missed all five of their fourth quarter attempts, and was just 5-for-31 for the game for a conversion rate of 16.1 percent.
It’s impossible to overstate how out of character this was for Ty Lue’s team. During the regular season, LA had only shot below 28 percent from deep three times and below 23 percent only once, way back in December when they hit a season-low four triples versus Dallas. Then in the playoffs, they had made at least double digit 3-pointers in every game, with their lowest percentage of makes both coming in the first round, when they hit 27 percent against the Mavs in Game 1 and then 29 percent in Game 6. They’ve made at least 35 percent of their threes in every game since…until Saturday night.
All this is to say that the Clippers are unlikely to have another showing like the disaster that just unfolded. Through it all, their defense has maintained, and we can be sure that there won’t be any quit in a team that has been down 2-0 three times in this postseason.
LA may be down 3-1, but they’ve still outscored the Suns in this series. They’re every bit as good as Phoenix, and barring another shooting disaster, they’ll show it on Monday night.
Phoenix Suns vs. Los Angeles Clippers Prediction: Los Angeles Clippers +5.5 @ -110
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