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Clippers vs. Suns Game 3 preview and game thread: A familiar place

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We’ve been here before

2021 NBA Playoffs - LA Clippers v Phoenix Suns Photo by Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images

Well, this seems all too familiar, doesn’t it? For the third consecutive series, the Clippers have started the series down 0-2. Can the magic continue? Can they win their third consecutive series after trailing 0-2? Why the hell not.

Game Information

When: Thursday, June 24, 6:00 p.m. PT

Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA

How to watch/listen: ESPN

Opposing perspective: Bright Side of the Sun

Projected Starting Lineups

Clippers: Reggie Jackson, Paul George, Terance Mann, Marcus Morris Sr., Nicolas Batum

Suns: Mikel Bridges, Jae Crowder, Deandre Ayton, Devin Booker, Chris Paul

Injuries/Absences

Clippers: Serge Ibaka (lower back), Kawhi Leonard (right knee) — OUT


For the first time in the history of the Clippers franchise, they’ll play at home in a Western Conference Finals game. That’s pretty damn cool.

The biggest takeaway entering tonight is the fact that Chris Paul returns to the Suns lineup. He missed the first two games of the series after testing positive for COVID-19. With him back, the Suns immediately get better. LA had a chance to take advantage of his absence, but unfortunately couldn’t get in the win column.

I feel like I say this following every loss, but man the Clippers could have won the last time. I don’t even want to talk or think about how that last game ended and I never want to see that replay again. Let’s just say, that game was there for the Clippers’ taking and they could (should) have won. They had a chance to win in Game 1 as well as they trailed by two with 20 seconds left, but the last game was theirs.

With that being said, that’s got to have you feel confident, right? I don’t know what it is, but this Suns team seems so much more beatable than Utah did in the last round. That’s just me. I have a feeling that once the Clippers are able to knock down shots, they’ll be able to take control of this series. I mean they shot horribly last game and still had a chance to win. That just goes to show that if the shots fall, the Clippers should win.

Being down 0-2 isn’t ideal. I know the Clippers have won two straight series after falling behind, but I think asking them to do this three times is a lot. It still doesn’t mean it can’t be done. The good news for the Clippers is that three of the next four games are at Staples Center. Advantage Clippers. We saw them use it to their advantage in the last series against the Jazz.

After dropping the first three at home in the Dallas series, the Clippers have won four straight games at Staples Center in pretty dominating fashion. If they can carry that over, this series should be even heading back to Phoenix, which would be huge for the Clippers.

Just take one game at a time. You won’t tie the series tonight, but you can get yourselves right back into it with a win. For now, let’s just continue to enjoy the Clippers being in the freaking Western Conference Finals.