Midway through the second quarter of Game 2, the Los Angeles Clippers had the Phoenix Suns on the ropes in their first-round playoffs series. After stealing a 115-110 Game 1 win, the Clippers held a 49-36 lead over the Suns with 5:32 left in the first half, seemingly coasting to a shocking 2-0 series lead. Instead, Devin Booker took over, scoring 25 of his game-high 38 points in the second half to key a 123-109 Suns romp. If the Suns looked tight and uncertain for the first five-and-a-half quarters of the playoffs, they looked practically unstoppable down the stretch of Game 2. Surely, there's pressure and anxiety around integrating Kevin Durant into the flow of a title contender on the fly, but Booker and the Suns seem like they've become immune to it.
“That's a 2-time champ, a 2-time Finals MVP” Devin Booker said when asked about whether the Suns felt like they had to prove in Game 2 they could win with Kevin Durant. “He's proven enough. We didn't lose any games with each other in the regular season and we just dropped Game 1.”
In games with Durant in the lineup, the Suns have gone 8-1 with their only loss coming in Game 1 of this series. Despite battling various injuries all year, Durant basically guarantees a victory every time he steps on the court; dating back to late November, Durant has gone 26-3 over his last 29 games with the Brooklyn Nets and then the Suns.
When Booker and Durant are on the court, the Suns are predictably unstoppable. In Game 2, Booker annihilated a Clippers defense that devoted most of their bandwidth to stopping Durant. With the Clippers double-teaming Durant and blitzing him in the pick-and-roll, Booker ran roughshod, racking up 38 points and nine assists on 14-22 shooting.