Deandre Ayton made a late dunk on a baseline inbounds play to give the Phoenix Suns a 104-103 win over the Los Angeles Clippers and take a 2-0 lead in the conference finals. The back-and-forth contest ended with Ayton’s last-second bucket. Cameron Payne led the Suns with 29 points and Devin Booker added 20 despite going 5-16 from the floor. Paul George led the Clippers with 26 points, but missed some crucial free throws that could’ve given LA the win prior to Ayton’s dunk.
The Clippers covered the spread at +5.5. The under hit at 224.5. This was a rare game where both teams struggled shooting the ball for multiple long stretches during the game.
The Suns opened up a 63-54 advantage but the Clippers always seemed to have answers any time Phoenix could’ve pulled away. Marcus Morris and Reggie Jackson hit key threes to keep Los Angeles within striking distance. Nicolas Batum added a triple of his own to cut a seven-point gap to four later in the period.
The teams struggled midway through the fourth quarter before Mikal Bridges and George traded three-pointers to open up more scoring. The Suns held a late 100-95 lead, but Luke Kennard and George carried the Clippers to a 101-100 advantage. Booker made a clutch jumper for the Suns but Los Angeles answered once again as George found enough space to get a basket.
The Suns turned the ball over, but George missed both free throws to keep Phoenix alive. Bridges was unable to connect on an open three-pointer from the corner, but Ayton came to the rescue on the ensuing inbounds play to give Phoenix the win and a 2-0 series lead. He finished with 24 points and 14 rebounds.
Game 3 is Tuesday in Los Angeles at 9:00 p.m. ET.