For all of his career accomplishments—including two All-Star appearances, a Three-Point Contest win and a 70-point game—Suns star shooting guard Devin Booker had never recorded a triple-double during his six seasons in the league.
On Sunday, he picked the right time to cross that off his list.
Booker scored 40 points with 13 rebounds and 11 assists as the Suns took down the Clippers, 120-114, in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals, stepping up in the absence of point guard Chris Paul to put Phoenix three wins away from the franchise's first NBA Finals appearance since 1993.
Booker caught fire in the second half, at one point scoring 16 straight points in a six-minute stretch during the third quarter. He shot 15-for-29 from the field and a perfect 7-for-7 on free throw attempts.
The back-and-forth game featured 13 ties, and neither team held a lead larger than 10 points. The score was tied at 93 after three quarters, but Booker made a three-pointer with just over 10 minutes left to give the Suns a 98-95 lead that they would not relinquish.
All five Suns starters scored in double figures, with Deandre Ayton finishing with 20 points and nine rebounds. Paul George led the Clippers with 34 points on 7-for-15 shooting on three-point attempts.
Game 2 of the series is scheduled for Tuesday at 9 p.m. Eastern in Phoenix.
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