Suns Down Clippers to Edge Closer to Finals Berth
LA Clippers guard Paul George (13) closely guards Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul (3) late in Game four of the NBA Western Conference Finals at Staples Center.

Chris Paul was clutch in the final minute as the Phoenix Suns won 84-80 over the Los Angeles Clippers to move within one victory of a spot in the NBA Finals.

The Phoenix Suns moved to a 3-1 lead in the series which moved to Arizona for Game 5, with the side chasing their first NBA Finals appearance in 1993.

Paul played a critical role, with a series of late free-throws, as he chases his maiden NBA Finals appearance in his 12th career playoffs.

The 36-year-old guard finished with 18 points, with four rebounds and seven assists, stepping up after Devin Booker fouled out late.

Suns center DeAndre Ayton was outstanding with 19 points and 22 rebounds, earning praise from coach Monty Williams.

“I thought DA’s ability to anchor the middle and switch out to guys and guard… his fingerprints were all over that side of the ball tonight,” Williams said. “He basically won that game for us tonight, he was tremendous.”

Booker top scored with 25 points, although neither him or Paul landed a three-pointer on a poor night for shooting from beyond the arc for both sides.

The Clippers shot just five from 31 from three-point range, with Paul George their top scorer with 23 points and 16 rebounds.

Paul heaped praise on coach Williams after the win, having improved the side from a 34-39 record last season when they missed the playoffs.

“A lot of times teams are reflective of the coach and Monty has been so detail-oriented all season long,” Paul said.

“At practice, we watch, we talk about box-outs and in-the-game situations.”

The series continues on Monday.

Ben somerford
Sports Pundit staff writer @bensomerford
Australian journalist who specialises on all sports, focusing on football, tennis, basketball and racing, having written for global publications including FourFourTwo, AAP, Inside Futbol and many more....

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