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Deandre Ayton’s double-double helps Suns rout Clippers, advance to NBA Finals

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2021 NBA Playoffs - Phoenix Suns v LA Clippers Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images

Deandre Ayton had 16 points and 17 rebounds on 8-of-10 shooting as the Phoenix Suns routed the Los Angeles Clippers on 130-103 on Wednesday to win the Western Conference Finals 4-2 and advance to their third-ever NBA Finals and first since 1993.

Ayton, playing in his first postseason, averaged 17.8 points and 13.7 rebounds on 69 percent shooting in the WCF, including four double-doubles. Entering the night, the former No. 1 overall pick was averaging 16.2 points, 11.4 rebounds and 0.9 blocks per game on 70 percent shooting in the playoffs.

Ayton and the Suns, who are owned by University of Arizona alumnus Robert Sarver, will face the Milwaukee Bucks or Solomon Hill’s Atlanta Hawks in the NBA Finals. It marks the seventh straight season that at least one Wildcat will play in the NBA Finals. Thirteen Wildcats have won an NBA championship as a player.

The Hawks-Bucks series is tied 2-2 heading back to Milwaukee. Both teams’ star players—Giannis Antetokounmpo and Trae Young—are battling injuries and may not play in Game 5, which is scheduled for Thursday at 5:30 p.m. PT on TNT.