Russell Westbrook confronts fan after LA Clippers beat Phoenix Suns Sport 1, scores, outcome, Kawhi Leonard, Kevin Durant, video

Kawhi Leonard had an amazing taking pictures evening whereas Russell Westbrook had a horrible one.

Each gamers nonetheless had a huge effect for the Los Angeles Clippers of their 115-110 win over the Phoenix Suns within the groups’ Western Convention playoff sequence opener.

Leonard poured in 38 factors, together with two late three-pointers, whereas Westbrook was a menace in every single place besides the scoring column. The veteran guard shot simply 3-of-19 from the sphere, however completed with 9 factors, 10 rebounds, eight assists, three blocks and two steals.

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“My complete profession, I pleasure myself each season on doing every little thing,” Westbrook stated. “No matter is required of me to win the sport, I am going to do it.”

That is precisely what occurred within the ultimate 30 seconds. Westbrook made a pair of free throws with 17.7 seconds left for a three-point lead, then blocked Devin Booker’s layup try on the different finish and swatted the ball off Booker to offer the Clippers the ball with 10.1 seconds remaining.

There was drama after the sport with Westbrook as nicely, after footage emerged of him confronting an abusive fan within the bowels of Phoenix’s Footprint Middle.

Westbrook might be heard telling the fan, “Watch your mouth”, with the fan telling the previous MVP winner to “take it like a person”. A unique fan is then heard saying, “Do not discuss it, be about it” as Westbrook was escorted via a tunnel away from the altercation by a member of the safety.

Eric Gordon added 19 factors and hit a late three that stored the Clippers forward.

Kevin Durant scored 27 factors for the Suns, who misplaced for the primary time with him on the ground. Phoenix acquired the two-time NBA Finals MVP from Brooklyn in February, and accidents restricted him to eight video games — all Suns wins.

Devin Booker added 26 factors for Phoenix, which is able to attempt to keep away from falling right into a 2-0 gap at house on Wednesday.

The Suns trailed 109-103 with 1:33 remaining however scored the following 5 factors. The Clippers grabbed a number of offensive rebounds on the following possession earlier than Westbrook made his essential free throws.

“Making successful performs, getting deflections on balls, offensive rebounding, getting us into our units — that’s playoff basketball,” Leonard stated. “You won’t have one of the best evening taking pictures, however you have to impression the sport some sort of means and he did that tonight.”

Los Angeles led for a lot of the sport till halfway via the third quarter. Torrey Craig made back-to-back buckets, together with one on a robust fast-break dunk, to push Phoenix forward 70-68, a part of a 15-0 run that concluded with a 77-68 Suns lead.

The Clippers, led by Leonard’s 12 factors within the third, recovered to tie the sport at 81-all heading into the fourth.

“They’ll make a run at house, we understood that,” Clippers coach Tyronn Lue stated. “We constructed a lead, they made a run, and now we have got to maintain our composure and be able to battle again. I assumed everybody who performed tonight was nice.”

Leonard — a two-time Finals MVP taking part in his first playoff recreation since June 14, 2021 — did a lot of his injury from the mid-range, however moved behind the three-point arc within the recreation’s late moments. He hit a 3 with 2:36 left and one other on the two-minute mark, ending 13-of-24 taking pictures from the sphere.

The Clippers had been lacking considered one of their greatest gamers in eight-time All-Star Paul George. He sprained his proper knee final month and it’s unclear if he’ll be capable to play on this sequence.

Gordon scored 12 factors because the Clippers jumped to a 30-18 lead after one quarter. The Suns shot simply 31.8 per cent from the sphere within the first quarter and Durant was held scoreless.

“We undoubtedly want to have higher begins however typically that occurs,” Durant stated. “It’s all about the way you bounce again from it.”

Durant missed his first 5 photographs from the sphere earlier than lastly connecting on a mid-range jumper early within the second quarter. That appeared to shake the nerves and the 34-year-old poured in 17 factors earlier than the break, serving to lower the Clippers’ result in 59-54.

The Suns had their six-game successful streak in playoff series-openers snapped.

“We perceive it’s not going to be straightforward,” Booker stated. “It will get tougher from right here. Considering again to my first (playoffs), each loss is the worst factor ever and each win you will win the remainder of them. That’s simply how the playoffs go.”

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