The Phoenix Suns returned to the height of the Los Angeles Clippers in their duel of the 1st round of the NBA play-offs by winning 123-109 on Tuesday, while Boston chained a second success in a row against Atlanta.
Beaten during the first meeting, already disputed in their room, Phoenix waited for the end of the first period to embark completely on these final phases, thanks to their back Devin Booker, author of 38 points, well supported by the two veterans, Kevin Durant (25 points) and Chris Paul (16 points).
In Arizona, the Clippers, carried by Kawhi Leonard, thought of repeating their Game 1 performance after having counted up to 13 points in advance in the first period, but a first banderilla from Booker to three points allowed the Suns to return to height (59-59) at halftime.
Then the Phoenix guard gave a recital in the third quarter by scoring 18 of his 38 points to defeat LA with a game-leading 14-point lead at the final whistle.
“We wanted to win at home, it’s done” rejoiced Booker after the meeting. “Now we are going to Los Angeles. It’s the play-offs. We have to win no matter what. It doesn’t matter what happened before. A new mission begins for us.”
The two teams will meet on Thursday for Game 3 in California.
– The intractable Celtics –
Like the Suns, Jayson Tatum’s Celtics were slow to get into the game before rushing and rolling over their opponents to sign a second victory in two games against the Atlanta Hawks.
Atlanta won the first quarter 22-11, but Boston regained the lead in the second and never let go of the game again (107-90), giving itself a small safety cushion in the series. before heading to Atlanta on Friday for Game 3.
Jayson Tatum had 29 points including five award-winning 3-pointers, Derrick White added 26 points and Jaylen Brown added 18.
“It’s the time of year to be on top,” Tatum said. “Everyone is in good shape, playing well, playing really well, but hopefully we can reach an even better level.”
In the East again, the Cavaliers, the best team of the regular season, enforced their rank with authority 107-90 in Game 2 in Cleveland against the New York Knicks very quickly overwhelmed.
Deprived of their star, Giannis Antetokounmpo, the “Cavs” relied on Darius Garland, 32 points and 7 assists, but above all on an intractable defense, their trademark this season.
The two teams will meet in New York on Thursday for Game 3.