The leader of the Clippers without Paul George and Kawhi Leonard was Russell Westbrook.
The Los Angeles Clippers lost 124-129 in Game 3 of the first round of the 2023 NBA Playoffs against the Phoenix Suns at the Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles, California on the 21st (Korean time). As a result, the Clippers were pushed to 1-2 in the series.
On this day, the Clippers missed Kawhi Leonard. Leonard, who played normally in Game 2, was sidelined due to a sprained knee. The problem is that the participation in the 4th game is also unclear. It is estimated that Leonard’s knee condition is more serious than thought.
The Clippers lost Paul George. George is also out due to a sprained right knee. Even Leonard was absent here. It is no exaggeration to say that George and Leonard are more than half of the team’s strength with the Clippers’ one-two punch. Moreover, the opponent is Phoenix. Superstars such as Kevin Durant, Devin Booker, and Chris Paul abound. An easy defeat for the Clippers was expected.
However, contrary to expectations, the match was close to the end. At its center was Westbrook. Westbrook recorded a double-double with 30 points, 11 assists and 8 rebounds. It wasn’t just the offense that did well. In defense, he took charge of bookers and poles, including three steals, and harassed him.
It was the return of Westbrook in his heyday, from breaking through the goal using his athletic ability, scoring in the mid-range, and looking at his colleagues.
Although the team’s defeat shone, Westbrook’s performance was comforting. If Westbrook’s skills remain as they are now and George and Leonard return, the Clippers will be able to build the Big 3.
It was a great performance,스포츠토토 but Westbrook wasn’t satisfied. In an interview after the game, he said, “It was a tough game. The team’s victory is more important than my performance, but that day was not the case.”
Regarding Leonard, who left due to injury, he expressed regret over Leonard’s injury, saying, “I feel sorry for Leonard. He was showing off his best skills. To be honest, he is the best player in the world.”
The Clippers, who had a good start by winning the first game away from Phoenix, suffered two consecutive losses and allowed a turnaround. As of now, it seems difficult to find an opportunity to turn against the mighty Phoenix. The only variable is the return of Leonard and George. If both players return, the tone of the series could change again.
Who can help the lonely Westbrook? The Clippers seek revenge by calling Phoenix home on the 23rd.