Los Angeles Clippers guard Paul George scores off a 3-pointer over Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton during the fourth quarter in Game 3 of their best-of-seven Western Conference Finals matchup Thursday at Staples Center in Los Angeles. Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo
June 25 (UPI) -- Paul George scored a game-high 27 points to help the Los Angeles Clippers shade the smoldering Phoenix Suns in Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals and cut the series deficit to 2-1.
George also posted 15 rebounds and eight assists in the 106-92 victory Thursday at Staples Center in Los Angeles. The Clippers win snapped the Suns' nine-game playoff winning streak.
"We can't allow this team to play harder than us," George told reporters. "I thought that was just the way we approached [Thursday's game]."
The game featured seven lead changes and was tied six times. The Clippers led by as many as 18 points.
The Clippers started the first quarter on a 6-2 run and led 29-21 to start the second. The Suns responded with a 14-4 run to start the quarter to take a 35-33 edge. The lead switched hands several times, but the Suns held a 48-46 edge at halftime.
George and the Clippers snatched momentum with a 21-3 run in the third and led 80-69 to start the fourth. They outscored the Suns 26-23 down the stretch.
George made 9 of 26 shots from the field and 3 of 11 3-point attempts. Clippers guard Reggie Jackson scored 23 points. Ivica Zubac and Terance Mann chipped in 15 and 12 points, respectively.
Center Deandre Ayton paced the Suns with 18 points and nine rebounds. Suns guards Chris Paul and Devin Booker scored 15 points apiece.
"They just outplayed us," Paul told reporters. "We didn't make shots. You could tell they had a lot more energy. I have to be better. I shot terrible. I have to pick up the pace to be ready for Game 4."
The Clippers host Game 4 at 9 p.m. EDT Saturday at Staples Center.