Russell Westbrook puts in a defensive display to help the Clippers beat the Suns 115-110 in Phoenix

Russell Westbrook puts in a HUGE defensive display to help the Clippers beat the Suns 115-110 in Phoenix… as LA takes Game 1 and Kevin Durant loses his SEVENTH straight NBA playoff game

  • Kawhi Leonard led the way for the LA with 38 points in the series-opening affair
  • The Clippers were also without All-Star forward Paul George due to a knee injury
  • DailyMail.com provides all the latest international sports news

Kawhi Leonard scored 38 points, including a pair of late 3-pointers, and the Los Angeles Clippers beat the Phoenix Suns 115-110 in the opener of their Western Conference playoff series on Sunday.

Eric Gordon added 19 points and hit a late 3 that kept the Clippers ahead. Russell Westbrook shot just 3 of 19 from the floor for Los Angeles but made a pair of free throws with 17.7 seconds left for a three-point lead.

Westbrook then blocked Devin Booker’s layup attempt at the other end and swatted the ball off Booker to give the Clippers the ball with 10.1 seconds remaining.

Kevin Durant scored 27 points for the Suns, who lost for the first time with him on the floor. Phoenix acquired the two-time NBA Finals MVP from Brooklyn in February and injuries limited him to eight games — all Suns wins.

Incredibly, Durant has also now lost his last seven playoff games – a worrying trend Phoenix will be desperate to end in Game 2 on Tuesday. 

The LA Clippers defeated the Phoenix Suns 115-110 in Game 1 of their playoff matchup

The LA Clippers defeated the Phoenix Suns 115-110 in Game 1 of their playoff matchup

Kawhi Leonard led the way for the Clippers with 38 points at the Footprint Center in Phoenix

 Kawhi Leonard led the way for the Clippers with 38 points at the Footprint Center in Phoenix

Russell Westbrook had a strong showing on defense with two steals and three blocks

Russell Westbrook had a strong showing on defense with two steals and three blocks 

Elsewhere, Devin Booker added 26 points for Phoenix, who will try to avoid falling into a 2-0 hole at home on Tuesday.

The Suns trailed 109-103 with 1:33 remaining but scored the next five points. The Clippers grabbed multiple offensive rebounds on the ensuing possession before Westbrook made his critical free throws.

He finished with nine points, 10 rebounds, eight assists, three blocks and two steals.

Los Angeles led for much of the evening until midway through the third quarter. Torrey Craig made back-to-back buckets, including one on a powerful fast-break dunk, to push Phoenix ahead 70-68.

It was part of a 15-0 run that put the Suns up 77-68. The Clippers, led by Leonard’s 12 points in the third, recovered to tie the game at 81-all heading into the fourth.

Leonard — a two-time Finals MVP playing his first playoff game since June 14, 2021 — did much of his damage from the mid-range, but moved behind the 3-point arc in the game’s late moments.

He hit a 3 with 2:36 left and another at the 2-minute mark, finishing 13 of 24 shooting from the field.

The Clippers were missing one of their best players in eight-time All-Star Paul George. 

Paul George is said to be targeting the second round of the playoffs to return to the lineup

Paul George is said to be targeting the second round of the playoffs to return to the lineup

George suffered sprained knee while playing against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Mar. 21st

George suffered sprained knee while playing against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Mar. 21st

He sprained his right knee last month and it’s unclear if he’ll be able to play in this series.

Gordon scored 12 points as the Clippers jumped to a 30-18 lead after one quarter. The Suns shot just 31.8% from the field in the first quarter and Durant was held scoreless.

Durant missed his first five shots from the field before finally connecting on a mid-range jumper early in the second quarter. 

That seemed to shake the nerves and the 34-year-old poured in 17 points before the break, helping cut the Clippers’ lead to 59-54.

Kevin Durant scored 27 points

Devin Booker scored 26 points

Kevin Durant and Devin Booker led the way for the Suns in the scoring column during the loss 

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Sports Event Casino Handicap Description

PK0It means not giving in to each other, and winning 1 point wins all.
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2 losses2/2.5When the handicap team wins the handicap team by 2 points, the team betting on the handicap loses 50% and wins all 3 points.
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3 levels3Indicates that when the handicap team wins the handicap team by 3 points, the two teams will tie and win all 4 points.
3-503/3.5When the handicap team wins the handicap team by 3 points, the team betting on the handicap loses 50% and wins all 4 points.
3 losses3.5When the handicap team wins the handicap team by 3 points, the team betting on the handicap loses all and wins all 4 points.
Sports Event Casino Handicap Description

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