NBA news: By passing the ball, Chris Paul has developed a Hall of Fame-caliber career. If necessary, he can even fire it fairly well.
The Phoenix Suns defeated the New Orleans Pelicans 110-99 in Game 1 of their first-round playoff series on Sunday night, with Paul scoring 19 of his 30 points in the fourth quarter. Suns coach Monty Williams described Chris Paul as “classic Chris.”
Despite dominating for the majority of the game, the Suns needed Paul’s strong finish. By the conclusion of the third quarter, the Pelicans had overcome a sluggish start and had narrowed a 23-point lead to 79-71.
In the fourth quarter, New Orleans kept hitting shots, then Paul took control, making three 3-pointers and a layup in under two minutes to keep the Pelicans in the game.
If the Suns progress far enough in the playoffs, the ageless veteran will be 37, but he looked a decade younger once again.
NBA news: Chris Paul’s big night lifts Suns to Game 1 win
Taking over a game, according to Paul, who is a self-proclaimed basketball enthusiast, is all about feeling. “It’s just a matter of reading the game,” Paul explained. “We watch sports 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”
We were able to see all of the games on Sunday. Today, we watched the games. We know teams aren’t going to lay down in the playoffs.”
The second game will be held in Phoenix on Tuesday night. In the regular season, the Suns were 47-0 while leading after three quarters.
They are now 1-0 in the playoffs. Paul made 12 of 16 field goals, including 4 of 6 three-pointers. In the fourth quarter, he scored 17 points in a row for the Suns.
Suns guard Devin Booker remarked, “That dude is a great competitor, a true winner.” “He really wants it.” It’s obvious in his manner and in the way he walks. It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. He’s made for these kinds of situations.”
Paul took control, hitting three 3-pointers and a layup in under two minutes to keep the Pelicans in the game. If the Suns progress far enough in the playoffs, the ageless veteran will be 37, but he looked a decade younger once again.
Booker, who ended with 25 points, made a 3-pointer on the first play, and the Suns never trailed after taking control with a tough defensive effort. By halftime, Phoenix had built a 53-34 lead, forcing the Pelicans to shoot only 11 of 49 (22 percent) before the break.