After an exhilarating 6 games of playoff basketball, the Suns were finally able to pull off what should have been a 4 game sweep. Different factors led to the prolonged exit of the Pelicans such as: the absurd amount of foul shots, the injury to Booker in game 2 and even the very poor trade deadline acquisitions. Nonetheless, Phoenix reigned victorious and will look toward the Dallas Mavericks for game 1 of the Semi-Finals. The brief 6 game recap is as follows:
In the first matchup of the series the favorited Suns took full control early on. The first half was a masterclass on how to beat up on the little guy. However, the Pelicans would come out of the locker room fired up outscoring the Suns 37 to 26. Momentum was beginning to shift, but out of no where close out Chris took center stage, and scored 19 4th quarter points to seal the deal on a game 1 victory.
- Chris Paul: 30 pts 7 rebs 10 asts
- Chris Paul had a 30 point double-double
- Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton combined for 41 pts
- CJ McCollum was the leading scorer for the Pels with 25 pts
After winning the first match-up [as many expected] The Suns came out possibly a little bit relaxed. They seemed less energetic than the underdog Pelicans. The fight wasn’t there which led to the early 1st quarter deficit. Though the game wasn’t out of hand it was far too close for comfort. A back and forth slug fest saw both teams battling for dominance. Eventually though the unthinkable happened. Devin Booker the beating heart of this Suns team, and the undisputed best scorer had suffered a hamstring injury. This was very bad news for Suns players and fans alike. This among other factors led to the Pelicans game 2 steal on the road.
- Devin Booker: 31 pts 1 ast
- CP3 had a 17 point double-double
- Mikal bridges ended with 19 pts
- Brandon Ingram shot the lights out with 37 pts
With a 1-1 series tie going into the 3rd game it was a must win game on the road for Monty Williams and the Suns. This was to not only steal back some momentum, but also to steal back home court. The Suns came out with a smash mouth approach, and took it to the paint early and often. Ayton was feasting on the Pelicans defense and Chris was doing the dishes as usual. A close first half saw the Suns go into the locker rooms with a double digit lead. The Pelicans though as they seem to do often came out of the half with a fire lit under them. They trimmed the Suns lead down to 2 points at the end of the 3rd quarter. Once again though close out Chris was present to ice the game 114-111.
- Ayton and Paul both ended the game with double-doubles
- Chris Paul scored 28 pts and 14 asts
- Ayton scored 28 pts and 17 rebs
- Bridges and Crowder combined for 27 pts
- Ingram and Crowder combined for 64 pts
In Game 4 the Suns stars Bridges and Paul didn’t play very well at all. They combined for 12 points which obviously isn’t going to cut it. On the other hand the home team Pelicans got another masterful performance from their star player, Brandon Ingram. The two Cebters from both teams played great both scoring 20+ while also cleaning the back board. However Ayton’s contribution wasn’t enough to compensate for the loss of Booker or the disappearance of Chris Paul.
- Deandre Ayton: 23 pts 8 rebs
- Javale McGee: 14 pts 4 rebs
- Cameron Johnson 13 pts 3 asts 5 rebs
- Jae Crowder added 11 pts, 5 asts and 5 rebs
- Brandon Ingram: 30 pts 5 asts
- Jonas Valanciunas: 26 point double double
After playing 2 games in enemy territory the Suns were heading back to their own turf for Game 5. This was a beauty of a game by several Suns players. Obviously the usual suspects: Paul and Ayton played well. Though one guy who had been up and down this series came up big Tuesday and that is Mikal Bridges. His 4/4 3 pointers and 31 points was just what the doctor ordered. He also put his body on the line for the team playing one minute shy of the whole game. Other spotlights need to be put on Cam Payne for his great effort and heart, and Chris Paul for his end of game IQ helping us put away the Pels for a 3-2 lead.
- The team stats showed us having 10 total steals
- As a team we had 5 blocks
- The Pels turned the ball over 15 times
- Mikal Bridges: 31 pts 5 rebs
- Chris Paul: 22 pts 11 asts
- Chris Paul ended with another double-double (points + assists)
- Brandon Ingram led the way with 22 pts
- Brandon Ingram and Cj McCollum combined for 43
- Pels center Valančiūnas had another double-double
One game. Two different mindsets.
For the Pels this was for the season. If you win you force game 7 if you lose…we’ll there’s the door. As for the Suns this wasn’t a do or die game, yet losing game 6 would surrender all of the momentum that they had acquired after securing the 3-2 lead. They started the game neck and neck with the Pelicans ending quarter 1 tied at 28 points a piece. The second quarter however saw them lose their edge a little and go into the locker room down 10. All of the cards seemed stacked against Phoenix. Even with the return of Devin Booker the Suns offense just wasn’t as electric as we had come to expect.
However in the second half the Point God that lives inside Chris Paul’s alter ego was summoned. He had already been lethal in close out games, but in this game he went above and beyond. Paul put the team on his back and scored 33 points and didn’t miss a single shot all game. This was a masterful performance by a man many thought two years ago was washed up and old. The Suns won the game 115 – 109 and sent the hopeful New Orleans fan base home with a sour taste, and a bowl full of tears.
- Chris Paul: 33 pts 14/14 FG% 8 asts
- Deandre Ayton: 22 pts 10/12 FG%
- Mikal Bridges: 18 pts
- Devin Booker and Cameron Johnson combined for 26 pts
- Brandon Ingram had a 21 point double double (11 asts)
Next up the Mavs… It’s about. To go. DOWN!
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Suns vs Pelicans Round One Recap Suns vs Pelicans Round One Recap Suns vs Pelicans Round One Recap