NBA·PHX LEADS 3-2

George helps Clippers stave off elimination against Suns

Paul George scored 41 points, Reggie Jackson added 23 and the resilient Los Angeles Clippers staved off elimination by beating the Phoenix Suns 116-102 on Monday night in Game 5 of the Western Conference finals.

Los Angeles was playing without Kawhi Leonard and centre Ivica Zubac

Paul George #13 of the LA Clippers drives to the basket against Devin Booker #1 of the Phoenix Suns during the second half in Game Five of the Western Conference Finals on Monday. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Paul George scored 41 points, Reggie Jackson added 23 and the resilient Los Angeles Clippers staved off elimination by beating the Phoenix Suns 116-102 on Monday night in Game 5 of the Western Conference finals.

The short-handed Clippers were playing without two-time NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard and centre Ivica Zubac, who missed his first game of the season with an MCL sprain in his right knee. They've already fought through two grueling series wins in these playoffs, coming back from 2-0 deficits to beat both the Dallas Mavericks and Utah Jazz.

Now they're trying to claw back against the Suns. Game 5 was a good start.

George was fantastic after a tough shooting night in Game 4, pouring in 20 points in the third quarter. He finished 15 of 20 from the field, including 3 of 6 from 3-point range and added 13 rebounds and six assists. Marcus Morris Sr. was good, too. The veteran forward, who played for Phoenix earlier in his career, added 22 points on 9-of-16 shooting.

The series moves back to LA with the Suns holding a 3-2 advantage. Game 6 is Wednesday.

The Suns trailed by as many as 15 points during the first half but took their first advantage in the third when Chris Paul knocked down a 16-foot jumper for a 62-61 lead. The Clippers responded with the next 10 points and then started sinking 3-pointers. George hit back-to-back 3s and Patrick Beverley added one to push LA ahead 82-70, gesturing to the Suns crowd as he jogged back down the court.

WATCH | North Courts panel breaks down Olympic qualifier:

North Courts Live: Olympic Qualifier Q&A

1 year ago
Duration 41:57
North Courts breaks down the Canadian men's basketball team's last chance to qualify for Tokyo, and takes your questions about the roster, tournament, and more.

It was the common theme of the night: Every time the Suns got some momentum, the Clippers were there to squash it in a hurry.

The Clippers took a 91-78 lead into the fourth. The Suns pulled within 98-94 with 6:58 left but LA responded with a 10-2 run and pulled away for the win.

Devin Booker led the Suns with 31 points. Paul — who is trying to go to the NBA Finals for the first time in his 16-year career — added 22 points and eight assists. Deandre Ayton had 10 points and 11 rebounds.

The Clippers played inspired basketball in the first half, jumping out to an 20-5 lead by halfway through the first quarter. Jackson threw down a huge one-handed jam during the run and LA hit nine of its first 11 shots.

Morris was 6 of 7 in the first and Jackson made a layup at the buzzer to give the Clippers a 36-26 advantage going into the second.

The Suns cut the advantage to 44-42 midway through the second but the Clippers rallied again to push ahead by 10. Booker hit a 3-pointer at the halftime buzzer to cut the Clippers' advantage 59-52.

Morris had 20 points in the first half.

The Suns are trying to make their first NBA Finals since 1993. The Clippers have never been this far in the postseason.

Add some “good” to your morning and evening.

A variety of newsletters you'll love, delivered straight to you.

Sign up now

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?

now