Basketball On The Internet.

Sponsored by:

AllStar Photos

Specialising in Action, Team and Portrait Photography.


Advertising opportunities available.
Please contact me.

Suns blow a shining opportunity

AT home in Phoenix, the Suns wasted a golden opportunity to jump straight to the NBA Finals when they lost 102-116 to the LA Clippers, despite nursing a 3-1 best-of-five series lead.

(NBA Wrap with BOB CRAVEN)

Superstar Kawhi Leonard also missed his seventh consecutive game for the Clips and as if that wasn't enough bad new for the Clips in terms of personnel, their big post man, Ivica Zubac, was also missing his first game in two years with a strained MCL in his right knee.

The Clips jumped out to a big early lead - 20-5 in the first quarter - and were up by 7 at the half.  They stretched this out to 13 after the 3rd quarter and coasted in from there, although the Suns managed to cut it to 4 with 6 minutes left in the quarter. A 10-2 run put the Clippers in the driver's seat and they rode it home from there.

Paul George was brilliant for Los Angeles with 41 points, 13 rebounds, 6 assists and 3 steals.  He was ably assisted by Reggie Jackson with a line of 23-5-3, with 20 of those points coming in the 3rd quarter. 

He was 15-of-20 from the field for the game.  Marcus Morris, who had played for the Suns earlier in his career, added 22 points, 20 of those in the first half when they created significant separation from the Suns early in the game.

Phoenix was led by newly minted Olympian, Devin Booker with 31 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals; Chris Paul added 22 points and 8 assists.  

IN Atlanta, the Milwaukee Bucks took a 2-1 lead against the Atlanta Hawks in the Eastern Conference Final by taking down the Hawks 113-102.  The game was very even for the first 3 quarters, although the Bucks seemed to be struggling more than the home team.

The teams were tied at the half and Atlanta was up by 2 after 3 quarters of play. A couple of things happened to completely change the game.  One was that near the end of the 3rd quarter, Atlanta's star guard, Trae Young, stepped on the foot of one of the officials and went down.

He retreated to the locker room and didn't get back into the game until almost 4 minutes had elapsed in the final quarter, but it was noticeable that his ankle was slowing him down.  After the game, he told the press that the ankle hurt and definitely was still bothering him. 

An MRI is scheduled to determine the extent of the damage, and to see if he'll be able to keep playing. Game 4 looks highly unlikely.

The other thing was that Bucks' swing man, Khris Middleton, caught fire.  He scored 20 of his game-high 38 points in the 4th quarter, outscoring Atlanta in that quarter all by himself, 20-17, as the Bucks pulled away.  His 38 points tied his career high.  He also added 11 rebounds and 7 assists.

Giannis Antetokounmpo added 33 points and 11 boards, but he was only 6-of-13 from the free throw line, including an embarrassing air ball in the 2nd quarter. 

Trae Young led Atlanta with 35 points, mostly in the first 3 quarters.  The Bucks also dominated the boards, 50-35.

UGLY from the get-go for both sides offensively, the Phoenix Suns defeated the LA Clippers in LA 84-80, to take a 3-1 lead in the NBA's best-of-7 Western Conference Final.

The score was indicative of how bad the offences were, or how good the defenses were ... NOT.

Phoenix shot 36.0 per cent (5-of-20 from behind the arc), while the Clips were even worse at 32.5 per cent (5-of-31 from deep).  The Clips were the best in the league in shooting 3's, but it did not show at all in this game.

The Suns started off strong and led at the half 50-36, but the Clips came alive (somewhat) in the 3rd quarter, outscoring the Suns 30-19 to trail by only 3 heading into Q4. 

Both offences collapsed in the 4th, with the Suns wining the quarter 15-14 and winning the game as a result.  The latter part of Q4 was mostly free throws.

For Phoenix, Devin Booker (wearing a face mask until Q4, due to injury) led with 25, but he was only 8-of-22 from the floor, including 0-of-5 from 3-point range and had 5 turnovers.  Big man Deandre Ayton was strong with 19 points and 22 rebounds.

The Clippers were led by Paul George with a line of 23-16-6, shooting only 5-of-20 from the floor, only 1-of-9 from beyond the arc, and only 12-of-18 from the FT line.  Reggie Jackson delivered 24 points on 8-of-24 shooting and 2-of-9 from long range.

AS sometimes is said in blowout games, "this wasn't a game, it was a shame". The NBA Eastern Conference final saw the Milwaukee Bucks at home destroy the Atlanta Hawks 125-91.  The game was over almost from the opening tip.

Atlanta's Trae Young, brilliant in their Game 1 win on the road, was stuffed by Milwaukee's defensive intensity, with constant pressure on him and on switching to him to keep him from going to the rim and shooting floaters, or dumping off with little Alley Oop passes. 

The Bucks also went to a smaller lineup much more often so they could keep pressure on him coming off screens.

Young was high scorer for Atlanta with only 15 points on 6-of-16 shooting, and only 1-of-8 from 3-point range.  He also had 9 turnovers, tying a career high, 8 of which were in the first half when the game was decided.  He was also only 2-of-3 from the free throw line - very different from Game 1 where he was sent to the line on 10 different occasions.

The Bucks were up by 32 at the half, and led by at least 30 the entire 2nd half.  No starters for either team played after the 3rd quarter ended, and Young left for good with almost 4 minutes left in the 3rd - a sure sign, as if one was needed, Atlanta would phone in the rest of the game and try to regroup at home for Game 3.

The Bucks, as usual, were led by Giannis Antetokounmpo with a line of 25-9-6.  His string of 6 straight games in the playoffs with at least 30 points and 10 boards ended mostly because he played so few minutes compared to a normal game for him. 

Jrue Holiday added 22 and 7 assists, plus some very tough defence on Young most of the night.  Khris Middleton added 15-7-8.

Jun 29

Content, unless otherwise indicated, is © copyright Boti Nagy.