"Classic Chris," a stellar down stretch, Suns defeated Pels 110-99

Chris Paul's career was built by passing the ball.

"Classic Chris," a stellar down stretch, Suns defeated Pels 110-99

If necessary, he can also take it very well.

Paul scored 19 of his 30-points during a spectacular fourth-quarter scoring performance and the Phoenix Suns defeated the New Orleans Pelicans 110 to 99 on Sunday night in Game 1of the first round playoff series.

Monty Williams, Suns coach, said "Classic Chris".

Paul's huge finish was needed by the top-seeded Suns despite being dominant for most of the game. After a slow start, the Pelicans recovered and cut the deficit to 23 points to 79-71 at the end of the third.

New Orleans continued to make shots in the fourth. But Paul took control and hit three 3-pointers in two minutes. If the Suns advance to the playoffs, Paul will be 37 years old. However, he looked 10 years younger.

Paul, a proud basketball fanatic, said that taking over a game was all about feeling.

Paul stated, "It's simply reading the game." We watch games every day. Yesterday, we were able to see all of the games. Today's games were viewed by us. We know that teams won't be able to restrain themselves in the playoffs.

Paul has never been crowned a champion, and was just a few games short of winning the title last year when his Suns lost to the Bucks in the Finals. Paul likes to say that he doesn't take postseason basketball for granted. His 130th playoff game was one of his finest.

Game 2 will be played in Phoenix on Tuesday night.

When they led after three quarters, the Suns were leading at 47-0 in their regular season. They are now 1-0 in the playoffs. Paul made 12 of 16 field goals, including 4 of 6 3-pointers. At one point in the fourth, he scored 17 consecutive points for the Suns.

Devin Booker, Suns guard, said that "that man's truly a competitor, a true loser." He wants it so bad. It's evident in his demeanor and his walking style. This shouldn't be surprising. These moments are what he was built for."

Booker, who had 25 points, hit a 3-pointer in the first possession. The Suns never trailed and used a determined defensive effort to quickly take over. Phoenix led 53-34 at halftime. The Pelicans were forced to shoot just 11 of 49 (22%) prior to the break.

Deandre Ayton, the Suns' big man, was especially dominant on defense with four blocks and 21 points. He also had nine rebounds. He swatted Jonas Valanciunas' shot in the third quarter and then turned to the crowd screaming, as the cheers of the fans echoed his actions.

CJ McCollum was the Pelicans' leading scorer with 25 points. However, he struggled to shoot much of the game. He was 9 of 25 from the floor. Valanciunas had 18 points and 25 rebounds. Brandon Ingram scored 18 point.

The Pelicans had some great moments, especially during their third quarter rally. Although it didn't result in a win, it was something the Pelicans can continue to build on for Game 2.

Larry Nance Jr., Pelicans forward, said that "we figured out how to play." "This is the playoffs, and there will be ups and downs, ebbs, flows and everything in between. Now we are playing chess.

New Orleans surprised everyone by making it to the playoffs. It won two games in the playin tournament and beat the Los Angeles Clippers, 105-101, on Friday night.

This gave the Pelicans a lot of momentum. But the Suns had new legs, and it showed.

The Suns' energy at the start was remarkable, especially on defense. They led 16 times at one point during the first quarter, but settled for a 28-16 lead going into the second.

FRIENDLY FACEOFF

Williams and Willie Green, Pelicans coach, are close friends and colleagues.

Green was Williams' assistant during the Suns' run into the Finals last season, before he took the job as head coach in New Orleans.

Williams stated that he had texted Green to express his congratulations on Friday's win by the Pelicans over the Clippers. He said that there has been no communication.

Williams stated before the game that Williams had not had a long, drawn-out conversation or any similar with violinists behind her. "We have to prepare our teams for play. "I'm looking forward the competition."

TIP-INS

Pelicans: F Zion Williamson, right foot fracture, isn't expected be playing in this series. Larry Nance Jr. had 14 points and six rebounds. New Orleans held a 55-35 edge on the glass. Valanciunas had an all-time high of 13 offensive rebounds.

Suns: G Landry Shamet (sprained left ankle) was unable to practice Friday, but was available for Sunday. He didn't play. Cam Johnson ended with 13 points after shooting 5-of-6. JaVale McGee had seven points and seven rebounds. In the fourth quarter, Mikal Bridges was fouled.

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