Chris Paul has been waiting for this moment for 16 years and Wednesday night in Los Angeles, he was not letting anyone get in his way of reaching the NBA Finals.
Paul poured in 41 points as he led the Phoenix Suns to a 130-101 win over the LA Clippers to close the Western Conference Finals and clinch the series 4-2.
The Phoenix Suns are heading into their first NBA Finals in 28 years. They will play either the Milwaukee Bucks or Atlanta Hawks for the championship.
”I was on a don’t-lose mission,” Paul said. ”Just a lot of emotion. A lot of (things) going on.”
Devin Booker added 22 points and Jae Crowder added 19 for Phoenix, who will get some rest before the finals begin next week.
”I’m just so happy for all the people around me,” Paul said on the court after the game, ”and the Clippers are my family, too. These fans, Billy Crystal, that’s my family. This is a team I have the utmost respect for, I’ll always be a Clipper.
Marcus Morris led the Clippers with 26 points and Paul George added 21 points and nine rebounds on 6-for-15 shooting.
George said the series would have been different if Kawhi Leonard had played.
”You are talking about one of the best players being out and we are inches from being to the next round,” he said. ”It’s a lot of what-ifs, but we didn’t make it.”