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NBA playoff preview and tips: Los Angeles Clippers at Phoenix Suns

Phoenix Suns host Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday as they look to level the scores in game two of their NBA playoff series.

Despite being expected to dominate the series and win the opener in commanding fashion, Phoenix fell very short, as LA left the Footprint Center with a 115-110 win. The Suns and the Clippers meet in game two tonight.

The Suns dominated the Clippers early in the season, winning both contests and holding them to 95 points, but LA has hit back by winning the last three meetings of the sides.

The most crucial of those was, of course, the game-one win in Phoenix. LA did a really good job of limiting the Suns' second-chance opportunities by holding them to six offensive rebounds.

The Clippers grabbed eight more offensive rebounds than the Suns did and forced three more turnovers, which correlates with the Clippers being able to throw up 11 more shots than the Suns.

Despite shooting 44.1% to the Suns' 47.6%, volume was key as Kawhi Leonard shouldered much of the burden for the visitors, scoring 38 points in 42 minutes of playing time.
Russell Westbrook's performance would have been worthy of a much more damning indictment had he not recorded 10 rebounds and 8 assists whilst providing some valuable defensive contributions.
No amount of preparation seems to be able to slow Kawhi Leonard down at the moment, but Paul George's absence means that the Clippers need Russell Westbrook to step up.
Kevin Durant and Chris Paul played their part for the Suns, both falling just short of a triple-double, although Paul's total of just seven points was damaging for Phoenix. They'll need more from him in game two.
The Clippers were able to make several smart and unexpected adjustments on defence for game one, although the Suns now know what to expect ahead of game two.
We saw evidence that they started to adjust as the game progressed and come the end of the game it was a contest, but the first-quarter deficit of 30-18 was too much to bounce back from. We'll likely see a quicker start from the Suns on Tuesday.
Heading to LA tied up at 1-1 is not a disaster, but Phoenix cannot afford to trail 2-0. You have to think they'll make the necessary adjustments on Tuesday, where they'll be looking to get off o a fast start and a first-quarter lead of their own.

Standout trends

Suns are 10-4ATS in their last 14 games as a home favourite of 5-10.5 points.

Suns are 5-2ATS in their last seven games playing on one day of rest.

Clippers are 4-10ATS in their last 14 games playing on one day of rest.

Clippers are 2-6ATS in their last eight games following a straight up win.

Suggested Bets

Phoenix Suns -8

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