Paul finished with 13 points, seven rebounds, and three assists on 4-of-11 shooting without a single 3-pointer on three attempts, but it was Rondo's big night that willed the Clippers to a win. Rondo came off the bench and finished with a season-high 15 points, three rebounds, and a season-high nine assists on 5-of-8 shooting and 3-of-4 from beyond the arc.
“They did a good job of shrinking the court, mucking the game up a little bit,” Paul said. “Rondo came in and changed the pace of it He made shots, found guys, and what not. They beat us tonight. They played well together.”
On one occasion, Rajon Rondo appeared to call out the Suns' play call and the Clippers proceeded to blow the play up, create a turnover, and an offensive possession for themselves.
“I mean they yelled it,” Rondo said, describing the moments leading up to the play. “No. 3 on the other team yelled it out quickly and loud and I just kind of read it back to my teammates. It was the same play they ran the night before against Utah, so our coaching staff did a hell of a job scouting and understanding what you do to take away in the fourth quarter. And like I said we were all on the same page, all five of us on the defensive end, able to get a stop.”
"Number 3 on the team yelled it out quietly and loud and I just kind of read it back to my teammates. It's the same play they ran last night against Utah."
Rajon Rondo on reading the Suns play and blowing it up. pic.twitter.com/rGnD7lp4qn
— Tomer Azarly (@TomerAzarly) April 9, 2021
Here's the play at hand:
Rajon Rondo calls out ELBOW and the Clippers force a Suns turnover. pic.twitter.com/vnItlLPsBh
— ClutchPoints NBA (@ClutchPointsNBA) April 9, 2021
The funniest part that went under everybody's radar is Rajon Rondo simply refusing to acknowledge Chris Paul by his name, instead referring to him as “No. 3.”
On another play in the fourth quarter, Paul actually gave Rondo space to shoot a wing 3-pointer as the shot clock expired. Rondo obliged, nailing the 3-pointer and exchanging even more pleasantries with Paul:
whatever Rondo said to CP3 here had some serious “i haven’t forgotten” energy with it. pic.twitter.com/bV63XeGOSi
— Rob Perez (@WorldWideWob) April 9, 2021
The Suns will get one more regular-season crack at the Clippers on April 28. That game will be a Phoenix home game with fans allowed in the stands.