Suns to face Clippers in First Round of Playoffs

The Phoenix Suns will face the Los Angeles Clippers in the first round of the 2023 NBA playoffs after Los Angeles defeated them 119-114 Sunday at Footprint Center in Phoenix. The Clippers secured the No. 5 seed in the Western Conference and will face the Suns, the No. 4 seed, in Game 1 of the series next Sunday in Phoenix.

The Suns avoided a first-round matchup with the NBA's defending champions, the Golden State Warriors, thanks to the Clippers' win. If Phoenix would have won Sunday, it would have faced the Warriors since they thrashed the Portland Trail Blazers, 157-101 Sunday, and would have jumped ahead of Los Angeles.

The Clippers and the Warriors finished with the same regular-season record (44-38) and split their four meetings this season, but Los Angeles holds the tiebreaker since it had a better record against Pacific Division opponents.

The Suns and Clippers split their four games against each other this season. However, Los Angeles won Sunday's game when Phoenix was without starters Chris Paul, Devin Booker, Kevin Durant and Deandre Ayton and a total of seven rotation players.

The Clippers also defeated the Suns 116-107 Feb. 16, but the game was during a period in which Phoenix was limited since it traded forwards Mikal Bridges and Cam Johnson to the Brooklyn Nets and had yet to have Durant in the lineup.

The Suns will have a week before they begin was is expected to be a deep playoff run. Phoenix is the favorite to win the Western Conference and has the third-best odds (+480) to win the NBA championship, trailing only the Milwaukee Bucks (+240) and Boston Celtics (+350) from the Eastern Conference according to FanDuel Sportsbook.

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