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Los Angeles Clippers v Phoenix Suns - Game TwoPHOENIX, ARIZONA – JUNE 22: Deandre Ayton #22 of the Phoenix Suns dunks the ball over Ivica Zubac #40 of the LA Clippers during the fourth quarter in game two of the NBA Western Conference finals in-which the Phoenix Suns defeated the LA Clippers 104-103 at Phoenix Suns Arena on June 22, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo : Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

There’s just no stopping the Phoenix Suns right now. Looking down and out, the Suns snatched victory from the jaws of defeat as they eked past the Los Angeles Clippers, 104-103, in Game 2 of their Western Conference Final showdown on Tuesday. Deandre Ayton scored the game-winning basket with 0.7 seconds remaining to lead the Suns to their ninth consecutive win in this year’s playoffs.

Action now shifts to Los Angeles for Game 3 with the Suns holding a commanding 2-0 advantage. The Clippers have been in this situation before, trailing 0-2 in their previous two series against the Dallas Mavericks and Utah Jazz. The Clippers will need to complete another series comeback of that magnitude if they are to secure their first ever Finals appearance.

Ayton seals dramatic win for Phoenix

It looked like the Clippers were headed for another famous road playoff win after they launched a stunning rally in the closing stages of Game 2. Paul George led the way for the Clippers in that late run, scoring a layup with 31 seconds left to give LA a 101-100 advantage, their first lead since early in the third quarter.

After Devin Booker drained a jumper on the other end, George answered with a 22-footer on their next offensive possession to give the Clips a 103-102 lead. The Clippers then regained possession on the next play after replays showed Booker turning the ball over. George had an opportunity to ice the game but he missed both of his free throws that could have extended their lead to three points.

The Suns appeared to have lost their chance to grab the Game 2 win after Mikal Bridges missed a wide-open corner jumper in the dying seconds. The Suns were fortunate, however, that the referees launched another video review with 0.9 seconds left as they were able to design a play with no timeout remaining.

Jae Crowder executed Monty Williams’ play to perfection, delivering a pinpoint alley-oop pass to DeAndre Ayton who soared for the game-winning dunk over LA’s Ivica Zubac. Booker, who was playing with a broken nose, set a key screen on Zubac on the final play, which helped release Ayton.

The referees spent about a minute reviewing the play before officially ruling it as a good basket for Ayton. With no more timeouts, the Clippers were unable to get a shot off in the final 0.7 seconds as the Suns escaped with a dramatic one-point win.

Related Article: Detroit Pistons Grab Top Pick in 2021 NBA Draft Lottery

Payne steps up big time in Paul’s absence

Apart from Ayton’s late heroics, the Suns’ victory wouldn’t be possible without the game-long brilliance of Cameron Payne. He once again stepped up big time in the absence of veteran point guard Chris Paul, scoring a career-high 29 points and dishing out nine assists. He shot 12 of 24 from the field, leading the Suns team in scoring.

Ayton was a beast down low for Phoenix, delivering yet another playoff double-double with 24 points and 14 rebounds. Payne and Ayton carried the offensive cudgels for the Suns with Booker having an off-night in Game 2. Booker came crashing back to earth after his triple-double performance in Game 1, scoring just 20 points on 5-of-16 shooting in Game 2.

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