(SATSports) – Chris Paul, who was a meme a few days ago after falling off a Paul George dribble in game 5, responded with a superstar performance to send the Phoenix Suns into their first NBA final in 28 years. The 16 year veteran scored 41 points, 8 assists and 4 rebounds to eliminate the Clippers in game 6 of the Western Conference Finals.
31 of his 41 points came in the second half to help his team dump the Los Angeles Clippers 130-103 in front of their home crowd to make his first trip to the NBA finals with his fifth team, who are also making just their first playoff appearance in a decade.
Paul shot 16 of 24 from the field, while missing just one 3 pointer from 8 attempts. He was very dominant late in the third quarter when the LA based team pulled with seven, making big time plays, notably an 8-0 points run of his own to handle a blowout for a team in which he played for six seasons.
Devin Booker also showed up with 22 points, Deandre Ayton with a double double 16 points and 17 rebounds, while Jae Crowder also added 19 points of his own to make Phoenix the first team to reach the finals after a 10 year absence in the playoffs.
For the Clippers, exhaustion seemed to have come into play, heading into the finals off back to back comeback series against the Mavericks, which they won in 7 and a 2-0 game deficit against the Utah Jazz which they eventually won in 6, had nothing left in the tank against a Suns team that seems set for the title after knocking out the defending champions LA Lakers and sweeping an MVP led Denver Nuggets. ‘I think we ran out of gas. For that first half, we made a lot of mistakes mentally. That tells you guys are tired,” said the Clippers head coach TyronnLue.
The Clippers were also without two time Finals MVP, KawhiLeonard, who has been ruled out due to a right knee sprain and were also without center Ivica Zubac, who’s out with an MCL sprain in his right knee.
The Phoenix Suns will now await the winner of the Bucks vsHawks series to see who they pay against for the NBA title. The Eastern Conference finals are still locked at 2-2 so it will be quite a wait till the other finalist is decided.