Game 3 of the first-round series between the Los Angeles Clippers and the Phoenix Suns showed exactly why the latter team was the favorite to come out of the West. Despite the absence of their top stars, LA was giving Phoenix everything they could handle. On any other day, a 40-bomb from Norman Powell (!) would be game over. However, Devin Booker went toe-to-toe with the white-hot Powell, willing the Suns to a Game 3 win with 45 huge points. After the game, Kevin Durant gave some high (and I mean HIGH) praise for his teammate, per Gerald Bourguet.
“Kevin Durant on Devin Booker’s performance: “All-time. Great performance. In the playoffs on the road, Game 3, 45, on that efficiency. I almost expect stuff like this from him at this point in his career.””
Booker started the series against the Clippers hot, scoring 26 points on above 50% shooting in the Suns’ Game 1 loss. Little did we know, that 26-point game would be the floor for D-Book this series. The former first-round pick popped off in Game 2, scoring 38 points in the bounce-back win.
The Suns definitely needed every piece of Booker’s 45 points in Game 3. Despite Kawhi Leonard’s sudden injury and Paul George’s continued absence, the Clippers fought hard to defend their home court. Norman Powell was the key cog for LA, as he was unstoppable from the court. If Booker didn’t go supernova as well, Phoenix’s chances were… not good.
As for Kevin Durant, he was his usual efficient self for the Suns. A 28-point game on 8-of-15 shooting is par for the course for KD these days. With Booker scoring more, Durant even found time to fill the stat sheet (six boards, five assists, and two steals). The six turnovers is worrying, but hey, Phoenix still got the win.
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