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The Phoenix Suns and Los Angeles Clippers scuffled at the end of Game 2 of their Western Conference Finals matchup on Tuesday night after Deandre Ayton’s game-winning alley-oop finish.
Immediately after Ayton put in the game-winning basket to give the Suns a 104-103 victory, Clippers center DeMarcus Cousins was seen shoving Suns star Devin Booker. Clippers guard Patrick Beverley and another Suns player had to step in with Booker getting held back.
Los Angeles Clippers forward Nicolas Batum, top, walks through a tunnel in front of center DeMarcus Cousins (15) and guard Patrick Beverley (21) after the Phoenix Suns defeated the Clippers in Game 2 of the NBA basketball Western Conference Finals, Tuesday, June 22, 2021, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)
It was Booker’s screen that helped Ayton get free with less than 1 second remaining in the game. The perfect pass allowed the young center to soar over Clippers defender Ivica Zubac.
“The celebration and reaction were a little shaky,” Ayton said. “Because I wasn’t sure what I did. I wasn’t sure if it counted,” he said.
Phoenix is now up 2-0 in the series. They have won a franchise-record nine straight playoff games.
Cameron Payne led the Suns with 29 points. Ayton had 24 points and 14 rebounds. Booker added 20 points.
“It is a hard game to swallow because look at this game, we’ve got this game won,” Beverley said. “But we have been in the trenches before. We respond well in the trenches and we will respond well. We always do.”
Game 3 heads back to Los Angeles and is set for Thursday night.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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