Clippers, Suns resume series in LA
(Sports Network) – The Los Angeles Clippers welcome the Phoenix Suns tonight
to the Staples Center for Game 3 of their Western Conference semifinals
This best-of-seven set is tied at 1-1. Game 4 of this series is scheduled to
be played on Sunday at the Staples Center.
The sixth-seeded Clippers, who lost the opener, 130-123, on Monday at US
Airways Center, evened the set on Wednesday in Phoenix. All-Star Elton Brand
finished with 27 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Clippers past No. 2
Phoenix, 122-97, in Game 2 of the series
Veteran Sam Cassell poured in 23 points, grabbed five rebounds and dished out
six assists in Game 2’s win for the Clippers, while Cuttino Mobley netted 23
and pulled down eight boards. Center Chris Kaman finished with 14 points and
16 rebounds in the victory.
Raja Bell netted 20 in the loss for the Suns, who lost for the first time in
their last five playoff games. Reigning MVP Steve Nash was held to just 14
points and eight assists in defeat.
Leandro Barbosa tallied 18 points off the bench for the Suns, while Tim Thomas
scored 15 and Boris Diaw netted 14 for Phoenix.
The Suns have lost two straight Game 3s in the postseason, while the Clippers
have lost three straight Game 3s.
This is the first time that these clubs have met in the postseason.
The Clippers, who defeated the third-seeded Denver Nuggets in five games in
the first round, returned to the playoffs for the first time since the
1996-97 campaign, when they were swept in the opening round by the Utah Jazz,
3-0. In fact, the Clippers, who were the Buffalo Braves until the 1978-79
campaign, were eliminated in the opening round in 1992, 1993 and 1997.
The Braves, who became the San Diego Clippers after the 1977-78 season,
defeated the Philadelphia 76ers, 2-1 in the first round of the 1975-76
playoffs. They have won two playoff series in franchise history.
For the first time in franchise history, the Suns came back from a 3-1 deficit
to win a playoff series in the opening round against the Lakers. They won
their second straight Pacific Division title crown during the regular season.
Last season, the Suns finished a league-best 62-20 during the regular
campaign. Phoenix had a solid run in the 2005 playoffs, as it advanced
to the Western Conference finals for the first time since 1993, but was
eliminated in five games by the San Antonio Spurs, who defeated the Detroit
Pistons in seven games in the championship round.