Sports Powell returns, Clippers beat Suns for 3rd straight win
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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Norman Powell scored 24 points after being out two months, Paul George added 19 points in three quarters to go over 15,000 in his career, and the Los Angeles Clippers edged the NBA-leading Phoenix Suns 113-109 on Wednesday night.
With nothing at stake, Phoenix rested All-Star guards Devin Booker and Chris Paul and fellow starters Deandre Ayton and Jae Crowder on the second night of a back-to-back. The Suns had already set a franchise record for wins in a season with 63 by eliminating the Lakers from playoff contention Tuesday.
The Clippers beat up the Suns for three quarters, leading by 39 points in the third. But Phoenix's reserves put together a 48-point fourth quarter and then ran out of time.
Booker has 35 points, Suns beat 76ers for 8th win in a row
PHOENIX (AP) — Jae Crowder's wide-open 3-pointer late in the fourth quarter Sunday sealed yet another win for the Phoenix Suns, who continue to pile up victories even though they've accomplished just about everything possible in an NBA regular season. Motivation isn't a problem for these Suns, who hope they're just getting started. Devin Booker scored 35 points, Chris Paul had 19 points and 14 assists and the NBA-leading Suns won their eighth straight game, beating the Philadelphia 76ers 114-104 on Sunday. “The motivation comes from last year,” said Crowder, who was part of the Suns last season when they lost to Milwaukee in the NBA Finals.
Cameron Payne hit a 3-pointer that drew the Suns within four with 10 seconds left. Amir Coffey got fouled and made both free throws to preserve the win.
Ish Wainwright scored a career-high 20 points to lead Phoenix. Aaron Holiday added 16 points and Bismack Biyombo had 14 points and 12 rebounds. The only starter in double figures was Payne with 13 points. The Suns' bench outscored the Clippers' reserves, 66-58.
George and Powell were playing together for the first time this season, but they quickly got in sync to help the Clippers win their third in a row. They are locked into the eighth spot for the Western Conference play-in tournament next week.
George has played in five of six games since returning from a torn UCL. Powell is back after missing 21 games with a broken foot. He played in just three games with the team before getting hurt shortly after he was acquired in a trade from Portland.
George leads Clippers past Kings for 4th straight victory
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Paul George put the Western Conference on notice that he is ready for the play-in tournament, and hopefully beyond. George scored 23 points, tied a career high with 12 assists and added eight rebounds as the Los Angeles Clippers won their fourth straight game, beating the Sacramento Kings 117-98 on Saturday night. The Clippers are 5-1 since George returned to the lineup. He is averaging 22.6 points, 5.6 rebounds and 6.8 assists after missing 43 games due to an elbow injury. “The elbow’s fine. It feels pretty good," George said. "Overall, I'm trying to take each possession for what it is and trying to make the best play possible.
George scored 10 of his team’s first 14 points to start the game. Powell came in for the first time late in the first quarter and hit a jumper.
They started the second quarter together. Powell hit a 3-pointer and a jumper back-to-back, then George found him for another 3-pointer as part of a 22-0 run.
The Suns’ first points didn’t come until 6:49, when former Clipper Landry Shamet hit a 3-pointer.
The Clippers outscored the Suns 34-9 in the second to lead 60-31 going into halftime.
Ivica Zubac had 13 points and 11 rebounds for the Clippers.
Suns: Their 31 points in the first half were the fewest allowed by the Clippers in a half this season. ... JaVale McGee led a rollicking, expletive-filled huddle in the tunnel before the Suns took the court to warm up. ... The Jenner sisters, Kylie and Kendall, who dates Booker, sat opposite the team bench.
Clippers: Split the season series, 2-2. ... A moment of silence was held for Gene Shue, a two-time NBA coach of the year who had two separate stints guiding the Clippers. He died earlier this week at age 90. ... Hall of Famer and Clippers executive Jerry West posed for a photo at halftime with Grammy nominee Saweetie, who sported bright pink hair. ... Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen sat courtside.
Suns: Visit Utah on Friday.
Clippers: Host Sacramento on Saturday in the first game of a back-to-back.
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Beth Harris, The Associated Press
NBA playoffs 2022 live updates: Luka Doncic listed as 'day-to-day' but is out for Game 1 .
The NBA playoff field is set, and Saturday begins the first round of the postseason. The Utah Jazz visit the Dallas Mavericks at 1 p.m. ET.With the final two playoff spots determined with Friday night’s play-in games, the chase for the NBA championship officially begins with four playoff games on Saturday.