Suns vs. Clippers: Game 3 betting odds, preview, and pick
The Phoenix Suns took a thrilling Game 2 without Chris Paul. Can the Los Angeles Clippers come back from a 0-2 deficit again?
We have the betting odds and preview you need before Game 3 tips off at 9:00 p.m. ET at Staples Center.
Fri, June 25 2021, 1:10 AM
Cam Payne's emergence
The first two games of this series required the young Suns to grow up fast without their veteran point guard, Chris Paul. Fortunately backup guard Cameron Payne was up to the task.
Payne averaged 20.0 points, 9.0 assists, 1.5 steals, and 1.5 blocks per game in the first two games of this series. In Game 2, Payne went off for 29 points and nine assists in 37 huge minutes. Now, the Suns expect CP3 to return for Game 3.
This will likely cut into Cam Payne’s minutes, but the Suns will be in excellent shape if he can continue to bring the same energy and playmaking off the bench.
Clippers perform when they are cornered
The Clippers are used to be in this exact spot, down 0-2 in a playoff series. In the first round, the Clippers went down 0-2 at home and still came back to win Games 3 and 4 before ultimately winning in seven. In the second round, they fell down 0-2 on the road to the top-seeded Utah Jazz before winning four consecutive games to finish off the series.
The Clippers won Game 3 against the Dallas Mavericks by 10 points. They beat the Jazz in Game 3 by 26 points. This seems to be their comfort zone. However, they are going to have to win this Game 3 without Kawhi Leonard, in all likelihood.
Per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, the Clippers' confidence in having Leonard available at any point in their series against the Phoenix Suns "is not there right now."
Suns G Chris Paul today is listed as Probable for Game 3.— InsideHoops.com NBA (@InsideHoops) June 24, 2021
Clippers F Kawhi Leonard still listed as Out.
"Playoff P" needs to reappear
In Game 2, Paul George struggled mightily before the final few minutes. In the first half, he shot 4-12 from the field and 0-4 from three-point range. He did show up and hit two massive shots to give the Clippers the lead in the final seconds, but no one will remember that.
Everyone will remember the two missed free throws at the end of the game that allowed the Suns to win the game on a buzzer beating alley-oop. Before Game 2, George was shooting 89.2% from the free throw line in the playoffs.
As much grief as George gets for his self-proclaimed "Playoff P" nickname, he has been spectacular this postseason in Leonard’s absence. He will need to regain his confidence in Game 3.
The Clippers own Game 3 in these playoffs, and they will continue to do so in this series. I expect a big bounce back game from George. I also believe that the return of Chris Paul may actually be a short-term problem for the Suns. They will need to adjust to him being back in the lineup.
George has been fantastic in these playoffs, and stepped up big time after Kawhi’s injury. Since I believe the Clippers will win Game 3, this prop will go hand-in-hand with my game pick. George will need to score for the Clippers to win, and I believe he will tonight.