Injuries were the theme of the game with Paul George (and Kawhi Leonard) out for the Clippers along with the Suns Deandre Ayton and Devin Booker and four other rotation players. After an appearance last game against the Boston Celtics, Jalen Smith also on the injury report.
The Clippers held on to a 10+-point lead for the majority of the game then took off towards the end of the game. There was no answer for Phoenix, taking their 5th loss on the year.
Injuries piled up for the Suns before tip-off!
big men on the suns roster:— evan (Mikal DPOY) (@evxz17) December 13, 2021
healthy big men on the suns roster:
JaVale McGee pic.twitter.com/bxJvtMBwPT
Early on, the Suns struggled on offense. Without Booker and Ayton in the lineup, Shamet and McGee had to continue the chemistry they had last Friday against the Boston Celtics.
The Clippers defense began the game with plenty of energy to match any lobs or passes inside to McGee.
Without George and Leonard, the Clippers too struggled. It was a battle of finding yourself first. A 7-2 lead early for the Clippers in the first 6 minutes of the game. It wasn’t very pretty.
Jae Crowder was the only Sun to knock down a couple shots. With his foot on the line! The Devin Booker special, giving the Suns 4 points.
Getting into foul trouble with 2, Jae hit the bench and Cameron Payne had to take over offensively to keep the little flow the Suns had going. Running the pick-and-roll with McGee and trying to hit the open shooter.
McGee played the focal point of the Suns offense leading to a little run with Cameron Johnson and Shamet helping cut the Clippers lead to 6 heading into the second quarter with the Clippers leading 27-21.
End of 1Q: LAC 27, PHX 21— Gerald Bourguet (@GeraldBourguet) December 14, 2021
Crowder: 6 Pts, 3-5 FG
McGee: 4 Pts, 4 Reb
Cam Johnson: 5 Pts, 4 Reb
Jackson: 8 Pts
Suns started 1-for-13, but finished the quarter 9-for-14
Chris Paul to start the second quarter was able to get a few shots to go in, but the Suns still had a challenge on the other end stopping the Clippers. Ish Wainright was relied on for a few shots and came up 0-2. Trying to get someone hot was the goal but nothing was hitting.
Maybe getting Mikal Bridges involved more would help? Sportscenter Top-10 play!
The Clippers kept the lead around 10 during the second. When the Suns had a little run, the Clippers were able to answer.
Paul was trying to keep the family together and giving the offense a chance. Crossing up the Clippers big men and spreading the ball around. Something was just missing still... it was the shots.
The Clippers defense was too strong. Even Mikal’s fade-away through the lane faltered. The fouls kept piling up too. Jae and McGee both at 3 fouls at the 2-minute mark, landing them on the bench.
Going into half-time, the Clippers lead 56-44.
Relying on Shamet to jump start the offense for the Suns led to 0 success... at first. The Suns didn’t shy away from Shamet, really trying to get him going and help the Suns struggling offense. The process to get one basket made for the Suns led to multiple makes by the Clippers in between.
Shamet got a couple to go down but before you knew it, the Clippers were up 66-49.
The Paul and McGee 2-man game started to pick up. Leading to a much needed couple of foul shots. The Shamet focus needed to take a back seat.
The focus shifted to Mikal. A player that the Suns can trust to get to the line and force the issue. He was able to pick up 4 straight points for the Suns leading a 7-0 run, cutting the lead to 10. Then 4 straight points by the Clippers and the lead went back to 14.
The Clippers hit 5 fouls with 4 minutes left in the 3rd. This was the one thing going for the Suns. Taking advantage of it? Cam Johnson did. Right away, going for the foul and hitting both his free throws.
Ish did remain in the game of for the Suns and was unable to knock down shots but gave the Suns a few extra chances on the offensive end... leading to another 10 point lead by the Clippers.
ISH! First 3 as a Sun kept the Clippers lead at 10, 79-69 heading into the 4th quarter.
The Suns had some momentum after the Ish put-back dunk. Then, like the rest of the game, the Clippers pushed the lead back to 14.
The Clippers pushed the Suns around for the next few minutes of the game extending the lead to 17. With 6:25 left in the game, the Suns looked lost for any hope.
It never came together for the Suns at the end of the game. The run that might have saved the night was never found.
Suns lose 111-95.