The first round matchup with Portland is set, and we'd all like to begin discussing the playoffs, so let's get through this quickly, shall we?
Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan, JJ Redick, and Jamal Crawford all stayed home. In Los Angeles. This game was in Phoenix. That's the last you'll read their names here.
For the Suns, Eric Bledsoe, Brandon Knight, T.J. Warren, and Tyson Chandler all sat with injuries, the first three having been out for a while with season-enders.
The remaining Suns toppled the remaining Clippers, 114-105, in front of a surprisingly engaged Phoenix crowd.
This game, in a nutshell:
- The Suns grabbed 18 offensive rebounds. The Clippers grabbed 6.
- The Suns scored 22 fast break points. The Clippers scored 12.
- The Clippers led 55-52 with 2:13 remaining in the first half. The Suns would score the next 13 points. The Clippers wouldn't make another field goal until nearly 4 minutes had elapsed in the third quarter.
That's the gist of it. It wasn't a game so much as a glorified scrimmage. If you like seeing players miss bunnies and dribble the ball off their feet, then this was the game for you. The rest of you probably watched Kobe's retirement or the Warriors' 73rd win.
Now, as it was an all-bench game, there were some fun stats. Appropriately, Wesley Johnson and C.J. Wilcox tied for the Clipper team-high in scoring, with 19, off the bench's bench. They combined to convert 8 of their 14 three-point attempts.
Austin Rivers played well, and assertively, scoring 16 and adding 5 assists. Cole Aldrich notched a double-double with 14 and 10. Luc Mbah a Moute's importance to the team's playoff chances were underscored by his 9-minute playing time total, second-lowest and ahead of only Branden Dawson.
For the Suns, Mirza Teletovic was like a one-eyed man in the kingdom of the blind, scoring a game-high 22. Jon Leuer was the man on the boards, pulling down 6 offensive rebounds and finishing with a 16/14 double-double. In total, seven Suns finished with double-digit scoring.
The Clippers finished the season 53-29 and will open the playoffs by hosting the Trail Blazers this weekend.