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Ayton’s last-second dunk does it for Phoenix Suns

In nick of time: Deandre Ayton’s delivered for Phoenix Suns with a last-gasp basket.  

Deandre Ayton made the go-ahead catch and dunk with one second left and a bloodied Devin Booker scored 20 points as Phoenix Suns shocked Los Angeles Clippers 104-103 in game two of their NBA Western Conference finals.

Booker shook off a cruel clash of heads that left him bloodied and bruised, returning to the game as the Suns took down the Clippers in a see-saw fourth quarter to win their ninth straight and seize a 2-0 lead in the finals.

Ayton scored the eventual game winner in a thrilling finish as the Suns perfectly executed on their final possession of the game.

The play started with an in-bound pass by Suns forward Jae Crowder who lobbed it directly to the front of the basket where a leaping Ayton was waiting. He caught and then dunked the ball in one motion to give to give the Suns a 104-103 lead with 0.7 seconds left.

Clippers Paul George then put up a desperation shot at the buzzer but it hit the front of the rim and bounced harmlessly away to end the game in front of the crowd of 16,600 at Phoenix Suns Arena.

“Jae made a great pass,” said Ayton, who finished with 24 points and 14 rebounds. “I am glad it counted. We just wanted to finish the game strong.”

“It was like a Muhammad Ali fight with haymaker after haymaker going back and forth,” said Suns guard Cameron Payne, who finished with a career-high 29 points.

George scored 26 points and Reggie Jackson added 19 for the Clippers, who also fell behind 2-0 in their previous series against the top seeded Utah Jazz before rallying to win.

Game three is Thursday in Los Angeles.

The results: Western Conference finals: Phoenix Suns 104 bt Los Angeles Clippers 103. Suns lead series 2-0.


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Printable version | Jul 25, 2021 11:05:33 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/other-sports/aytons-last-second-dunk-does-it-for-phoenix-suns/article34938854.ece

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