The Phoenix Suns are currently 3-1 up in the Western Conference finals and will be looking to close out an injury-hampered LA Clippers side.
The Suns took Game 4 of the series with a scoreline of 84-80. DeAndre Ayton starred for Monty Williams' side, scoring 19 points and grabbing 22 rebounds at Staples Center.
Fixture - LA Clippers vs Phoenix Suns | Game 5, 2020-21 NBA Playoffs.
Date & Time - Monday, June 28; 9:00 PM ET (Tuesday, June 29th; 6:30 AM IST).
Venue - Phoenix Suns Arena, Phoenix
LA Clippers Preview
The LA Clippers' shooting was downright abysmal in Game 4, as Paul George and co. combined to shoot 31-86 (36%) from the field. They made just four of their 20 three-point attempts, apart from committing a staggering 14 turnovers in the game.
Paul George and Reggie Jackson scored 23 and 20 points for the LA Clippers, respectively, but their inefficient shooting ensured that these numbers didn't hurt the Phoenix Suns.
The LA Clippers have held their own since Kawhi Leonard went down with an injury during the series against the Utah Jazz. But they will need a gargantuan effort from George and the peripheral stars to force a Game 6 on Monday.
Key Player - Paul George
Star swingman Paul George has successfully managed to shrug off the 'Playoff P' moniker during the course of the 2021 NBA playoffs. George has averaged an incredible 26 points, nine rebounds and five assists in 17 matches played this postseason, shooting 42.5% from the field.
George has stepped up in Kawhi Leonard's absence, taking up dual responsibility of scoring and creating shots for his teammates. Paul George caught flak for missing two clutch free-throws in Game 2 but rebounded by posting a double-double in the next game.
It's safe to say that the LA Clippers' chances of staying alive in the series rest on George's shoulders.
LA Clippers Predicted Lineup
Point Guard - Reggie Jackson l Shooting Guard - Patrick Beverley l Small Forward - Terance Mann l Power Forward - Paul George l Center - Ivica Zubac
Phoenix Suns Preview
The Phoenix Suns are a game away from reaching the NBA finals, a feat they haven't managed to achieve since 1993.
Head coach Monty Williams' guile, brilliant performances from the guard duo of Devin Booker and Chris Paul and the emergence of DeAndre Ayton have ensured that the Suns are a force to be reckoned with during these playoffs.
Cameron Payne, Jae Crowder and Mikal Bridges have played their roles to perfection as well. Payne is averaging 10 points and three assists in the playoffs and scored a career-high 28 points in Game 3 of the Conference finals.
Crowder and Bridges have played some stellar defense throughout the postseason, apart from averaging 10 and 11 points per game, respectively.
The Suns have one foot in the finals and will be looking to close things out on Monday.
Key Player - Devin Booker
After registering a 40 point triple-double in Game 1 of the series, Devin Booker has gone relatively cold. The reason behind the drop in form could be the nose injury he is playing through, but it is certain that the Phoenix Suns will need him at his best for Game 5.
Booker has already displayed a match-winning performance in a close-out game in the 2021 NBA playoffs, as the young shooting guard dropped 47 points on the reigning champions LA Lakers in Game 6 of Round 1.
Phoenix Suns Predicted Lineup
Point Guard - Chris Paul l Shooting Guard - Devin Booker l Small Forward - Jae Crowder l Power Forward - Mikal Bridges l Center - Deandre Ayton
Clippers vs Suns Prediction
The Phoenix Suns are the outright favorites to win Game 5 and advance to the NBA finals.
Kawhi Leonard's injury has severely handicapped the LA Clippers, while Chris Paul's return from mandatory quarantine has boosted the Suns' chances. Hence, fans can expect a comfortable Phoenix Suns victory.
Where to Watch Clippers vs Suns
Live action from the LA Clippers vs Phoenix Suns game will be available on ESPN. and SN1. International audiences can watch the game via NBA League Pass.