Phoenix Suns Core 4 Display Record Setting Mid-Range Performance in Game 2 Win

The Phoenix Suns come into game 2 of the first round of the Playoffs with a must-win attitude from the starting lineup and continue to get a lack of production from their bench.

Monty Williams is still experiencing with his rotations during a playoff series and that is alarming, but the starters responded with a 59-point-first half lead by Kevin Durant (16) being down as many as 13.

After getting only 10 points from the bench, the Suns rotation in the first half was a mixed bag of players as Monty played five guys off the bench trying to get some sort of continuity and production to alleviate the workload from the starters.

That strategy has yet to yield any results as the bench only mustered 5-points in the first half and 16 overall for the game, and the Clippers bench continues to score and defend at a high clip (28-16) and make it difficult on the Suns reserves to have an impact on the series.

Phoenix was down 13 points midway through the second quarter and it looked as if the Clippers were going to run away with game 2, and then the first of the core 4 Suns players held down the fort and kept them in the game.

DeAndre Ayton begin to knock down the free throw line mid-range jumper and the Clippers lead did not increase, then Kevin Durant knocked down a series of mid-range jump shots and the 13-point Clipper lead was down to three with seconds before halftime.

Devin Booker hit a big three-pointer right before the half to tie the game at 59, and the momentum was shifted to Phoenix.

The Suns would continue the 11-2 run before the half into the third quarter and Devin Booker had his moment of taking over the scoring load as he dropped 18 points in the 3rd on 10 of 11 shooting from the field.

Booker would finish with 38 points to lead all scores, and the Suns would not trail the rest of the game.

Clippers shot 4/22 (18%) when guarded by Devin Booker in game 1 Clippers shot 6/20 (30%) when guarded by Devin Booker in game 2 Crazy defense from a guy who’s averaging 32 points on 59% FG% so far. Booker: 24/41 FG Clippers when guarded by Booker: 10/42 FG

Devin Booker on the defensive end has been elite and has been a problem all over the court against any matchup.

When the Clippers did get close in the fourth quarter it was time for the final member of the core four to finish off the game, as Chris Paul knocked down three big mid-range jumpers to hold off the Clippers and finish with 16 points.

The Suns starters scored 110 of the team’s 123 points and that is good for one game that was desperate to win, but it is very concerning that the Suns can keep up this scoring formula for a full series.

The fifth guy part of the starting five (Torrey Craig) was big in the scoring department, in particular in the three-point area as he hit 5 three’s that were the most timely shots to keep the Suns in control of the game.

Games 3 and 4 are now in Los Angeles and the Suns have to find a way to get their bench players part of the offense and try and match the Clippers bench because role players don’t typically shoot very well on the road so the task seems almost impossible the way the reserves have performed so far.

The mid-range game was on full display in the Valley at the tune of 72 percent, hitting 21 of 29 shots, and if the Clippers continue to allow that shot it will be a short series in favor of the Suns.

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