The Phoenix Suns reached the NBA Finals for the first time since 1993 after beating the Los Angeles Clippers in six games to clinch the Western Conference title. Monty Williams’ side beat the Clippers 130-103 on Wednesday to secure a 4-2 series win. The Suns will now face either the Atlanta Hawks or the Milwaukee Bucks at the 2021 NBA Finals.
Chris Paul fires Phoenix Suns to series-clinching win over LA Clippers
11-time NBA All-Star Chris Paul looked like a man on a mission on Wednesday as he racked up 41 points to help the Phoenix Suns beat the LA Clippers 130-103 and set up a 4-2 series win in the 2021 Western Conference Finals.
Paul missed the first two games against the Clippers after testing positive for the COVID-19 and then injured his shoulder in the first-round playoff series against the Lakers. However, there was no stopping the veteran at the Staples Center.
The 36-year-old point guard, who will be playing in his first NBA Finals, ensured that the Suns pulled away from the Clippers in the second half, as he added 31 points after the midway break, while Devon Booker finished with 22 points as well for the Western Conference champions.
For the Clippers, Marcus Morris finished with 26 points despite playing with a sore knee. Paul George, who dropped 41 points to help LA seal victory in Game 5, managed 21 points and nine rebounds in game 6 as the Clippers once again fell short of reaching the NBA Finals.
Tyronne Lue’s side reached the Western Conference Finals last campaign but was beaten by eventual and reigning NBA Champions Los Angeles Lakers. Defeat in the Western Conference finals on Wednesday extended the Clippers’ 51-year wait for a title since the franchise was formed.
Suns reach first NBA Finals in 28 years
The Suns, who had failed to even reach the playoffs for 10 consecutive seasons prior to the 2020-2021 campaign, missed the chance to win the series at home on Monday but they made no mistake in LA. With their 4-2 series win in the Western Conference Finals, the Suns will be playing their first NBA Finals in 28 years.
The last time the Suns reached the NBA Finals was way back in 1993 when they were led by Charles Barkley but fell short against Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls in six games.
Their only other NBA Finals appearance was in1976 when they suffered defeat against Eastern Conference giants Boston Celtics in six games.
However, with Chris Paul and Devon Booker enjoying stellar runs at the playoffs the Suns will be eager to end their drought for an NBA Championship. The Suns finished as the No.2 seed in the conference and will face the winners of the Eastern Conference Finals, either the Atlanta Hawks or the Milwaukee Bucks.
The Eastern Conference Final series between the Hawks and Bucks are currently locked at 2-2. Game 5 of the East finals at the Fiserv Forum Arena will take place later on Thursday, July 1 (Friday, July 2 at 6:00 AM IST).