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Thursday 2 February 2023 Dublin: 9°C
Zuma Press/PA Images Cameron Payne on the attack for the Suns.
# order of the phoenix
Victory in LA leaves Phoenix Suns on brink of first NBA finals in 28 years
The Suns can finish the job with another win over the Clippers back in Phoenix on Monday.

THE PHOENIX SUNS moved a major step closer to their first NBA finals in 28 years with a narrow win over the Los Angeles Clippers.

The Suns took a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven Western Conference final series with an 84-80 victory in LA, and will be hoping to complete their progression on Monday in Phoenix.

Devin Booker led the way with 25 points before fouling out in the last minute, Deandre Ayton had 19 points and a stunning 22 rebounds, while former Clipper Chris Paul had 18 points.

In a scrappy match, the Clippers shot at just 32% for the game, while Phoenix were only marginally better at 36%.

The Suns led by nine points after the first quarter and by 50-36 at half-time, and were able to shut down their rivals again after LA took the third quarter 30-19, holding them 15-14 in the last.

LA’s shooting was poor in all but for the third quarter, when they got within three points of the Suns. The home side drew within a point four times in the fourth quarter, but a series of crucial free throws from Paul helped guide the Phoenix home.

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Paul George topped the scoring for the Clippers with 23 points alongside 16 rebounds, Reggie Jackson had 20 points, while Ivica Zubac had 13 points and 14 rebounds.

The Eastern Conference finals are locked 1-1 between the Milwaukee Bucks and the Atlanta Hawks, with game three in Atlanta on Sunday.

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