Booker Scores 47, Durant 31 points secure victory over Clippers

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Devin Booker scored 47 points, including 25 in the third quarter, as the Phoenix Suns roared back from a double-digit, second-half deficit to advance to the Western Conference semi-finals with a 136-130 series-clinching victory over the Los Angeles Clippers.

 

Kevin Durant scored 31 points and Deandre Ayton added 21 points and 11 rebounds for the fourth-seeded Suns, who recovered from defeat in the opening game of the series to rattle off four-straight wins.

Phoenix face the No 1 seeds Denver Nuggets in the next round, which starts on Saturday in Denver.

Norman Powell scored 27 points and Ivica Zubac added 16 points and 10 rebounds for the short-handed Clippers, who played without Paul George (knee) for the entire series and lost Kawhi Leonard (knee) following Game Two.

Los Angeles nearly erased a 20-point deficit in the fourth quarter. Mason Plumlee had 20 points and Russell Westbrook added 14 for the Clippers, who were considered a title contender at the start of the season but lacked consistency as George and Leonard struggled with injuries.

The Clippers carved out a 71-61 lead early in the third quarter before the Suns went to work. Phoenix grabbed an 80-79 lead with six minutes and 18 seconds remaining in the third after a Booker dunk.

Booker then supplied 12 points in an 18-0 Suns run as Phoenix outscored Los Angeles 50-24 in the third period – shooting 63 per cent (17 of 27) – to take a 111-94 lead.

Westbrook had a flagrant foul late in the third quarter as the game began to slip away and Bones Hyland had another early in the fourth period for Los Angeles.

Still though the Clippers rallied, with consecutive three-pointers from Nicolas Batum, Powell, Terance Mann and Batum to see them pull within three at 128-125 down with just over three minutes remaining.

That gap closed to two inside the final two minutes before Durant scored the last four points of the contest to ultimately close out a series-clinching Suns win.

 

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