Phoenix has now won eight playoff games in a row.
Ayton played 37 minutes and finished with 20 points and nine rebounds on 10-of-14 shooting. The former Arizona Wildcat had a team-high 14 points in the first half on 7-of-7 shooting. That included several dunks.
Ayton entered the day averaging 15.2 points and 10.6 rebounds per game in the postseason on 72 percent shooting. The former No. 1 overall pick has now scored 20 or more points in five playoff games, emerging as one of the breakout stars of this postseason.
The Clippers went from having every answer for Rudy Gobert to zero answers for Deandre Ayton. It's insane how Ayton has been able punish any opponent/scheme he's faced in his playoff debut. Game 1 first-half highlights: pic.twitter.com/65ZpFeIBx6— Matt Petersen (@TheMattPetersen) June 20, 2021
Devin Booker spurred the Suns in the second half to finish with 40 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists on 15-of-29 shooting. Phoenix was without star point guard Chris Paul (COVID protocols). The Clippers were missing star forward Kawhi Leonard (knee). They got 34 points from Paul George. It was a close game throughout with high-level shotmaking from both sides.
Game 2 of the series is set for Tuesday at 6 p.m. PT on ESPN.