Last in the playoffs, the Pelicans faced a mountain with the Suns and their best record in the League. Phoenix dominated their theme and, apart from a joke from the Pels at the end of the third quarter, Chris Paul (30 points, 10 assists, 7 rebounds) and Devin Booker (25 points, 8 assists) provided the essentials with victory network. to open their playoffs (110-99).
The start of the meeting confirmed this duel of extremes with an initial 11-4 that became 17-8. Shooting 5/23 to start, against 11/16 at Phoenix, New Orleans took a wall early on.
If anything better for the Pelicans in the second quarter, with a 7-0 run that allowed them to rally a bit, the Suns perfectly mastered their theme by leading NOLA to its lowest point total on record in the first half. 53-34).
Striking as throughout the “play in”, the Pelicans have been making their nest little by little, and their delay, through a 16-2, with the awakening of CJ McCollum and a Larry Nance Jr. still highly valued from the bench . . But Phoenix will finally wake up through Chris Paul, who orchestrates a 16-4 run to regain an 18-point lead with 5 minutes remaining.
New Orleans will have resisted but Phoenix logically won in this Game 1 at home (110-99).
WHAT TO REMEMBER
– A demonstration in the first half. When the Suns are already playing their game with Deandre Ayton picking up easy balls in the paint, the Pelicans have to work hard to find shots. And, when it’s not Ayton, it’s JaVale McGee who launches into the alley-oop perfectly served by Devin Booker. Phoenix goes 9-0 to confirm its ascendancy (28-12) at the end of the first quarter (28-16). In full control of operations, the Suns will simply limit NOLA to its lowest first-half points total, a showing (53-34).
– The Pelicans are not giving up. The Pelicans try to revive with a big dunk from Brandon Igram early in the third quarter, but Ayton continues to dominate inside, with two new blocks on Jonas Valanciunas. With +10 or more since the end of the first quarter, Phoenix relaxes a bit and takes a 16-2 from the Pels (76-69). Cam Johnson will break the series with a timely offensive rebound and three-point action, but New Orleans is on the prowl (79-71).
– Chris Paul takes over. CJ McCollum scores 7 straight points and confirms the trend but Chris Paul steps in as boss. Whether it’s scoring (10 points in 3 minutes) and passing JaVale McGee on the dunk, CP3 puts the points back on the i. The point guard actually scored 17 of his team’s 19 points (6/6 shooting) and added a brilliant look-and-read interception. It was he who put the Suns back on the right track, with 19 of his 30 points scored in the fourth quarter.
✅ Chris Paul. When the Pelicans went back to -6, he took over. Result: 19 points in the last quarter and the Suns who take back +15! Chris Paul finishes with a princely stat line of 30 points, 10 assists, 7 rebounds and 3 steals, all on 12/16 shooting, including 4/6 from 3-point range. Great art!
✅ Deandre Ayton. If he ended up a bit knocked out after contact with Herb Jones, Deandre Ayton (21 points, 9 rebounds, 4 blocks) had a very good first game. Dominant under the panels, with several counterattacks to Valanciunas, he also contributed his part offensively (with a very clean 10/15) including a triple to the pass.
✅ Devin Booker. More extinct at the end of the game, Devin Booker still finished with 25 points, 8 assists and 4 rebounds, that is, the influence of Phoenix’s All Star power. In fact, it was in the first (10) and third quarters (11) that D-Book made his mark, giving way to CP3 at the finish line.
✅⛔️Jonas Valančiūnas. Without being able to put the slightest basket under the circle against Ayton in the first half, Jonas Valanciunas still had rebounds. He woke up late in the game to score 18 points along with a new career high (in the playoffs) of 25 rebounds. But this 7/21 shooting is a task…
⛔️ Brandon Ingram. Unsustainable in “play in”, Brandon Ingram did not experience the same performance for this first game of the playoffs. His mid-range attempts were ferociously defended and the lanky winger came under defensive pressure from the Suns, whether it was Mikal Bridges’ length or Jae Crowder’s physique. With 18 points on 17 shots and 5 lost shots, he had a tough night…
Game 2: at night from Tuesday to Wednesday, at 4 am