The LA Clippers put in a stellar performance to save their season on Monday and force a Game 6 against the Phoenix Suns at Staples Center to be held on June 30th. The Clippers defeated the Suns 116-102 on the back of a playoff-career-high outing from Paul George, who tallied 41 points on the night.
The Game 5 win by the LA Clippers has now given the NBA Western Conference Finals a new life. It also presents yet another chance for their head coach, Ty Lue, to script a comeback from being down 1-3 in a series.
Meanwhile, the Phoenix Suns will be looking to bounce back and confirm their first NBA Finals trip since 1993. The Game 5 loss was a tough pill to swallow for them as they missed out on the chance to celebrate a series win with their own fans at the Phoenix Suns Arena.
Fixture - Phoenix Suns vs LA Clippers | Game 6, 2021 NBA Playoffs.
Date & Time - Wednesday, June 30; 9:00 PM ET (July 1st; 6:30 AM IST).
Venue - Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA.
Phoenix Suns Preview
The Phoenix Suns did not look aggressive at all in Game 5. They allowed the LA Clippers to attack with ease, which saw the Suns go down by 15 points (20-5) to open the game.
The Suns lacked the energy they have had all postseason defensively and made multiple errors on that end, which resulted in their loss.
The Clippers scored a whopping 58 points in the Phoenix Suns' paint as Deandre Ayton had an off-night, recording only 10 points and 11 rebounds. He also had the worst +/- rating among the Suns' players (-22).
Meanwhile, the Phoenix Suns committed 14 turnovers on the offensive end and could only accumulate 32 points in the paint, an area they have dominated previously in the 2021 NBA playoffs.
Key Player - Chris Paul
Chris Paul will have to be at his lethal best to help his team get over the line and also make his first-ever NBA Finals appearance.
The Phoenix Suns have been struggling offensively since he returned, though, which needs to change. He has been shooting only 31% from the floor and 12.5% from beyond the arc in the three games he has played.
The Phoenix Suns have a 97.7 offensive rating with CP3 on the floor and 112.3 with him off it. It will be important for him to find his groove and maintain the tempo of the game to lead the Suns to a win.
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
LA Clippers Preview
The LA Clippers have displayed unbelievable resiliency throughout the 2021 NBA playoffs. There is no reason to believe they can't force a Game 7 in this series due to that.
The Game 5 win was the second time this season the Clippers have saved their campaign from ending in the 2021 NBA playoffs, with the first coming against the Dallas Mavericks. The LA Clippers will be eager to capitalize on homecourt advantage in their next match to keep their hopes of a comeback series win alive.
The Clippers rectified all of their errors from their previous losses in the series in Game 5. They shot 14 of their 15 free throw attempts and did not settle on making jump shots, constantly looking to create better scoring opportunities by attacking the paint and moving the ball with great ease.
Key Player - Paul George
Paul George continues to prove his critics wrong in the 2021 NBA playoffs. He scored 41 points, 13 rebounds, six assists and three steals on the night to save the LA Clippers from getting eliminated from the 2021 NBA playoffs on Monday. He is yet to score below the 20-point mark in the postseason this year.
Paul George's resurgence has been monumental for the LA Clippers and will continue to be key for them in the next match as well.
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 - Marcus Morris Sr.
Phoenix Suns vs LA Clippers Prediction
The LA Clippers have been fantastic in elimination games in the 2021 NBA playoffs, but the Phoenix Suns are a much better team than the ones they faced before.
The Suns are also great at making adjustments to their game, and keeping that in mind, they will have a slight advantage over the home side in the next match.
It will be a close encounter, though, as both teams are gritty and have a tremendous fighting mentality as seen throughout the series so far.
Where to watch the Suns vs Clippers Game 6?
Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals between the Phoenix Suns and LA Clippers will be televised nationally in the US on ESPN. Fans in India can watch the game on Star Sports Select. You can also stream the game online via NBA League Pass.