clearn.png
Wednesday July 6th, 2022 3:21AM

Chris Paul takes over in 4th, Suns beat Pelicans 110-99

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

PHOENIX (AP) — Chris Paul scored 19 of his 30 points during a brilliant fourth-quarter shooting display and the Phoenix Suns beat the New Orleans Pelicans 110-99 on Sunday night in Game 1 of the first-round playoff series.

The top-seeded Suns needed Paul's big finish despite dominating most of the game. The Pelicans shook off a slow start, cutting a 23-point deficit to 79-71 by the end of the third.

New Orleans kept hitting shots in the fourth, but that’s when Paul took over, hitting three 3-pointers and a layup in 2 1/2 minutes in a flurry that kept the Pelicans chasing. The ageless veteran will turn 37 later in these playoffs if the Suns advance far enough, but once again looked a decade younger.

Paul has never won a championship, falling just short with the Suns last year when they lost to the Bucks in six games in the Finals. He's fond of saying he never takes postseason basketball for granted and his 130th career playoff game was among his best.

Game 2 is Tuesday night in Phoenix.

The Suns were 47-0 in the regular season when leading after three quarters. Now they're 1-0 in the playoffs.

Paul shot 12 for 16 from the field, including 4 of 6 on 3-pointers.

Devin Booker — who finished with 25 points — hit a 3-pointer on the opening possession and the Suns never trailed, using a ferocious defensive effort to quickly take control. Phoenix led 53-34 by halftime, forcing the Pelicans into just 11 of 49 shooting (22%) before the break.

Suns big man Deandre Ayton was particularly dominant on the defensive end with four blocks, and had 21 points and nine rebounds, At one point in the third quarter, he swatted a shot from Jonas Valanciunas and turned toward the crowd, screaming as the fans returned a roar in approval.

CJ McCollum led the Pelicans with 25 points, but struggled with his shooting much of the night. He finished 9 of 25 from the field. Valanciunas added 18 points and 25 rebounds. Brandon Ingram scored 18 points.

New Orleans made its surprise trip to the playoffs by winning two games in the play-in tournament, beating the Los Angeles Clippers 105-101 on Friday night.

That gave the Pelicans plenty of momentum, but the Suns had the fresh legs and it showed.

The Suns' initial energy was impressive, particularly on the defensive end. They led by 16 at one point in the first quarter before settling for a 28-16 advantage going into the second.

FRIENDLY FACEOFF

It's no secret Suns coach Monty Williams and Pelicans coach Willie Green are close friends and colleagues.

Green was Williams' lead assistant last season during the Suns' run to the Finals before earning the head coaching job in New Orleans during the offseason.

Williams said he texted Green to congratulate him following the Pelicans' win over the Clippers on Friday. Otherwise, he said there's been no communcation.

“We haven't had some long, drawn-out conversation with violins playing behind us or anything like that," Williams said pregame. “We've got to prepare our teams to play. I'm looking forward to the competition.”

TIP-INS

Pelicans: F Zion Williamson (right foot fracture) isn't expected to play this series. ... Larry Nance Jr. scored 14 points and grabbed six rebounds.

Suns: G Landry Shamet (sprained left foot) missed practice on Friday but was listed as available on Sunday. He didn't play. ... Cam Johnson finished with 13 points on 5-of-6 shooting. JaVale McGee added seven points and seven rebounds. ... Mikal Bridges was called for a technical foul in the fourth quarter.

___

More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/tag/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Basketball, AP Sports - NBA
© Copyright 2022 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Chris Paul takes over in 4th, Suns beat Pelicans 110-99
Chris Paul scored 19 of his 30 points during a brilliant fourth-quarter shooting display and the Phoenix Suns beat the New Orleans Pelicans 110-99 on Sunday night in Game 1 of the first-round playoff series
11:52PM ( 19 minutes ago )
Kyle Busch steals Bristol win as Reddick and Briscoe crash
Kyle Busch slipped past the spinning cars of Tyler Reddick and Chase Briscoe to steal his first Cup win of the season Sunday night on slick, wet, dirt-covered Bristol Motor Speedway
11:42PM ( 30 minutes ago )
Asian shares sink as China says 1Q growth at 4.8%
Shares are lower in Asia after China reported that its economy expanded at a 4.8% annual pace in the last quarter
11:31PM ( 41 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
LEADING OFF: Freeman vs Braves, Hill's special Patriots' Day
Freddie Freeman faces the Braves in Los Angeles for the first time since leaving the World Series champions for a $162 million, six-year deal with the Dodgers last month
8:43PM ( 3 hours ago )
Andrew Heaney whiffs 11, Dodgers sweep Reds with 9-1 blowout
The Los Angeles Dodgers completed a four-game sweep of the Cincinnati Reds with a 9-1 victory
8:43PM ( 3 hours ago )
Tatum's layup at buzzer gives Celtics 115-114 win over Nets
Jayson Tatum made a layup at the buzzer on a pass from Marcus Smart to give the Boston Celtics a dramatic 115-114 victory over the Brooklyn Nets in the Game 1 of their first-round playoff series
8:40PM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Sports
Robinson makes eight 3s, Heat top Hawks 115-91 in Game 1
Duncan Robinson set a Miami playoff record with eight 3-pointers, and the Miami Heat forced Trae Young into matching the worst-shooting game of his career on the way to a 115-91 win over the Atlanta Hawks in Game 1 of an Eastern Conference first-round series Sunday
4:19PM ( 7 hours ago )
Poole shines in playoff debut, Curry back as Warriors win
Jordan Poole shined in his long-awaited playoff debut scoring 30 points, staying in the starting lineup as Stephen Curry returned from a foot injury by coming off the bench initially, and the Golden State Warriors’ defense smothered Nikola Jokic to beat the Denver Nuggets 123-107 in the opener of their first-round playoff series
12:25AM ( 23 hours ago )
Maxey breaks out for 38 points, 76ers beat Raptors in Game 1
Tyrese Maxey had the breakout game of his young career, scoring 21 of his playoff career-high 38 points in the third quarter to lead the Philadelphia 76ers to a 131-111 Game 1 win over the Toronto Raptors on Saturday night
10:06PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Online Basketball
Pelicans earn 105-101 win over Clippers, claim No. 8 seed
Brandon Ingram scored 30 points and the New Orleans Pelicans overcame a 13-point deficit in the fourth quarter to beat the depleted Los Angeles Clippers 105-101 in a play-in and earn the West’s No. 8 seed for the playoffs
2:34AM ( 1 day ago )
Young's 38 lift Hawks past Cavs for No. 8 playoff seed
Trae Young scored 32 of his 38 points in the second half and the Atlanta Hawks overcame losing center Clint Capela to a knee injury to beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 107-101 in the play-in and earn the Eastern Conference’s No. 8 playoff seed
12:45AM ( 1 day ago )
Clippers will be without Paul George for play-in game
The Los Angeles Clippers say Paul George has entered the NBA's health and safety protocols and will miss their play-in game against New Orleans
10:07PM ( 2 days ago )
AP Sports - NBA
Kyle Busch steals Bristol win as Reddick and Briscoe crash
Kyle Busch slipped past the spinning cars of Tyler Reddick and Chase Briscoe to steal his first Cup win of the season Sunday night on slick, wet, dirt-covered Bristol Motor Speedway
11:42PM ( 30 minutes ago )
Asian shares sink as China says 1Q growth at 4.8%
Shares are lower in Asia after China reported that its economy expanded at a 4.8% annual pace in the last quarter
11:31PM ( 41 minutes ago )
2 minors dead, 8 wounded in shooting at Pittsburgh party
Authorities say shots fired at a house party in Pittsburgh left two 17-year-olds dead and at least eight more people wounded
11:25PM ( 46 minutes ago )
US rocked by 3 mass shootings during Easter weekend; 2 dead
The lawyer for a man arrested in connection with a mass shooting at a South Carolina mall tells news outlets his client fired in self-defense
11:15PM ( 56 minutes ago )
China's economy grows still-weak 4.8% in January-March
China’s economic growth edged up to a still-weak 4.8% over a year earlier in the first three months of 2022 as a wave of coronavirus outbreaks led to shutdowns of major industrial cities
11:01PM ( 1 hour ago )