Great players do great things in the playoffs, and Chris Paul is a great player, and Sunday night in Game 1 of Phoenix’s first-round series against the Pelicans, that greatness was on full display.
Phoenix led 53-34 at the break, but the Pelicans outscored the Suns 37-25 in the third quarter and had some momentum going into the fourth, but then, the “CP3 Show” commenced.
The 12-time All-Star scored 19 of his team-high 30 points in the fourth quarter to go along with seven rebounds, 10 assists, and three steals as the Suns defeated the Pelicans 110-99 at Footprint Center to take a 1-0 series lead.
Game 2 is Tuesday night in Phoenix.
At age 37, Paul became the oldest player to record 30 points and 10 assists in a playoff game.
“Man, that is the CP3 Show,” Deandre Ayton said postgame. ‘We got a little taste of it.’
“Classic Chris,” Suns head coach Monty Williams said.
With Phoenix leading 80-73, Paul scored or assisted 19 straight points for the Suns to take complete control of the game.
According to ESPN Stats & Info, Paul became the fifth player with ten career playoff games of 30 points and 10 assists, joining LeBron James (22), Michael Jordan (15), Jerry West (14), and Oscar Robertson (12)
“It’s just reading the game,” Paul said. “We watch games all day, every day. We got to watch all the games yesterday. We watched the games today. We know in the playoffs, teams aren’t going to lay down.”
Williams had more praise for his point guard.
“He’s not only a great point guard, but he’s a great basketball player,” Williams said.
After making the Finals last season, the goal for the Suns is an NBA title. Barring anything unforeseen, the Pelicans can’t defeat Phoenix. So, in reality, to avoid injuries, the Suns have to sweep this series to play as few games as possible as they look to win an NBA title.