The final Game 1 of the Western Conference featured the 1st seeded Phoenix Suns going against the 8th seeded New Orleans Pelicans who surprised everyone by making it to the Playoffs. Both teams were entering with something to prove and to assert their advantage.
The Phoenix Suns went with a starting lineup of Chris Paul, Devin Booker, Mikal Bridges, Jae Crowder and Deandre Ayton. The New Orleans Pelicans started with CJ McCollum, Herbert Jones, Brandon Ingram, Jaxson Hayes and Jonas Valanciunas.
With the opening tip, Chris Paul passed directly to Devin Booker who sinks a three. This sent a message to the Pelicans that they were going to bring their best in the game. The Pelicans got a bit frazzled and disconnected without being able to stop the Suns relentless offense.
The Pelicans focused on the defensive end but were unable to stop the Suns’ scoring. On the other end they could not get their shots to fall which resulted in the Suns widening the lead. Brandon Ingram somehow managed to keep the Pelicans in the game and not fall way behind. The Suns took the 1st half with a 53-34 lead.
Coming into the 2nd half, the Pelicans started focusing on the offensive end to shorten the score margin. Instead of going iso, they moved around the ball and got everyone to touch it. This proved to be effective as the Suns had to leave one man open and they were drowning shots. Thanks to Devin Booker consistently scoring, the Suns did not fall far behind.
In the 4th quarter, sensing a repeat of the 3rd quarter, Chris Paul took over. He shot 3s, dribbled and created space in the mid-range. It was like watching vintage Chris Paul on action. He scored 19 points alone in the 4th quarter and put the game beyond the Pelicans’ reach.
Chris Paul led his teams in scoring with 30 points, 10 assists, 7 rebounds and 3 steals. Devin Booker was the 2nd leading scorer with 25 points and 8 assists. Deandre Ayton scored 21 points, 9 rebounds and 4 blocks.
On the Pelicans side, CJ McCollum led with 25 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assists. Brandon Ingram scored 18 points. Valanciunas had a double-double with 18 points and monstrous 25 rebounds. Larry Nance Jr. came off the bench to give 14 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists.
Takeaways from the game
The Phoenix Suns won Game 1 of the series with a scoreline of 110-99. This is what we expected of the Suns’ team as they are a very deep roster. It is predicted that they will sweep the Pelicans. The Pelicans need to get a hang of what they need to focus on and get their strategies adjusted. They cannot think about just the offense and have a more defense oriented approach.