The Clippers will look to even the Western Conference finals against the Suns tonight in Phoenix after dropping the series opener, 120-114, on Sunday afternoon.
A loss tonight would put the Clippers in a 2-0 hole for a third consecutive series. They already are the first team in NBA history to win multiple best-of-seven series in the same postseason after falling behind 2-0.
The fourth-seeded Clippers remain without All-NBA first-team forward Kawhi Leonard, who missed the last three games with what the team has called a sprained right knee, which he suffered late in Game 4 of their second-round series against the top-seeded Utah Jazz. Leonard did not travel to Phoenix with the team.
The second-seeded Suns came into Game 1 rested, with a week between games, following a sweep of the Denver Nuggets. Phoenix will be without All-Star point guard Chris Paul for a second straight game, as he is still in the league’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols. If and when he will be available to return during the series remains unclear.
WESTERN CONFERENCE FINALS SCHEDULE:
(best-of-seven, all times PT)
Game 1: Suns 120, Clippers 114
Game 2: Tuesday (6/22) at Phoenix, 6 p.m. (ESPN)
Game 3: Thursday (6/24) at L.A., 6 p.m. (ESPN)
Game 4: Saturday (6/26) at L.A., 6 p.m. (ESPN)
*Game 5: Monday (6/28) at Phoenix, 6 p.m. (ESPN)
*Game 6: Wednesday (6/30) at L.A., 6 p.m. (ESPN)
*Game 7: Friday (7/2) at Phoenix, 6 p.m. (ESPN)
Pregame links and reading:
Clippers hope adjustments will improve outlook vs. Suns | Suns’ Deandre Ayton welcomes Clippers’ small-ball challenge | Whicker: Clippers forced to take pop quiz in Phoenix, and questions got harder | Clippers’ Kawhi Leonard, Suns’ Chris Paul stay connected from afar | Whicker: Heady days for Clipper fans who haven’t forgotten how to feel | Clippers, Suns meet in Western Conference finals filled with unknowns | Whicker: To make a memory, Clippers dissolve a 2015 nightmare | Tyronn Lue calls on L.A. basketball fans to rally around Clippers | Clippers erase 25-point deficit to stun Jazz, reach first conference finals | Mann has breakout Game 6 effort that shows growth | Clippers go forth again without Kawhi Leonard | Clippers vs. Suns: Western Conference finals schedule, scouting report, prediction |