The Phoenix Suns defeated the Los Angeles Clippers 120-114 in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals to take a 1-0 series lead.
Devin Booker, who finished the game with 40 points, 13 rebounds, and 11 assists, dedicated the win to Chris Paul.
“We put him on FaceTime. He’s our leader. We lean on him for a lot,” said Booker. “We know how disappointed he is and frustrated he is he couldn’t be out here for Game 1 of the Western Conference finals, especially knowing his past history around this time. But we had him all the way through. We brought him in the locker room, had him in our after-game huddle. He’s proud of us. He’s ready to get back, he’s working and we can’t wait to have him.”
Paul missed Game 1 due to COVID-19 protocols. He is reportedly symptom-free and hoping to return early in the series.
Monty Williams praised Booker for not forcing his shots and getting his points within the offense.
“He didn’t inject himself into the game. He just did it out of what we do. There are times where a guy scores and you just want to go grab the ball and jack up a shot. I thought the way Devin did it tonight was within our scheme and what we do,” said Williams.
Booker added that the Suns were extra careful of taking care of the ball without Paul.
The Suns finished with only seven turnovers in the game.
“I’ve been alongside him all season and watching him control the game and how he never turns the ball over. When he does it’s a rare sight. We knew that was going to be a key for us, taking care of the ball.”