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Booker, Suns find comfort level in midrange, bounce back with 123-109 win over Clippers

For the second game in a row, the Clippers were willing to live with the Suns taking a lot of midrange shots. That strategy worked for L.A. in Game 1, when Phoenix was 8-of-27 (29.6%) on shots between the paint and the 3-point line, and the Clippers got the road win.

On Tuesday night, that shot chart looked a little different.

FGA for the Phoenix Suns during LAC vs PHX - 04_18_2023

“It’s like layups for them,” Kawhi Leonard said of the Suns from the midrange.

Devin Booker led the way with 38 points, Kevin Durant hit all 10 of his shots from the midrange, and the Suns as a team shot 73.3% from the midrange. Behind that shooting display, Phoenix bounced back with a 123-109 win to even the series with the Clippers 1-1.

Game 3 is Thursday night in Los Angeles.

It can be overly simplistic to say, “It’s a make-or-miss league,” but after the game Tyronne Lue sounded comfortable with the Clippers’ game plan, it just didn’t work because the Suns couldn’t miss on Tuesday.

“I feel good. I feel good with where we’re at,” Lue said. “Our guys are gonna keep competing and scrapping. We think we can win this series, 100% of the battle is believing.”

The stars were out for both teams in this game. Booker had nine assists to go with his 38 points, Durant added 25 points, and Chris Paul had 16 points and eight assists. On the other side, Kawhi Leonard had another spectacular game and finished with 31 points, seven rebounds and seven assists, while Russell Westbrook had 28 points on 9-of-16 shooting.

One thing to watch going forward is Paul’s right hand seemed to bother him after he deflected the ball at one point. After the game, a report came back from Chris Haynes at TNT that an X-ray was “clean” and coach Monty Williams said he thought CP3 would be okay.