The Phoenix Suns may be slowly but surely starting to come together as a legitimate championship contender after trading for superstar Kevin Durant about two months ago.
On Thursday, they took a 2-1 series lead over the Los Angeles Clippers with a 129-124 win, and they got 28 points from Durant and 45 from Devin Booker.
Both have been excellent so far in this series, as they have both scored at least 25 points in each of the three games that have taken place.
In fact, it has made them the first duo to do so in the NBA playoffs since Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal did so in 2003.
Kevin Durant and Devin Booker are the 1st duo to each score 25+ points in each of their first 3 games of a postseason since Kobe Bryant & Shaquille O'Neal in 2003. pic.twitter.com/z1R5mJULNf
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) April 21, 2023
Bryant and O’Neal were one of the greatest superstar tandems in the history of the game, and they combined to lead the Los Angeles Lakers to three straight world championships from 2000 to 2002.
The Suns, who have never won it all, are hoping to capture some similar magic from Durant and Booker over the next several weeks.
They have gotten an assist in the form of a sprained knee Clippers star Kawhi Leonard has suffered, which forced him to sit out Game 3 and may make him miss some more time moving forward.
The biggest knock on the Suns, however, is while they may have the most talented starting five in the NBA, their bench is very weak.
After Durant, Booker, Chris Paul and Deandre Ayton, there is a large drop-off in talent and skill, especially when one moves past forward Torrey Craig, who is the team’s fifth starter.
If Leonard cannot recover quickly enough, the Clippers may not be able to challenge Phoenix that much, but a team such as the Denver Nuggets, which they would likely face in the next round, could very well send thgem home for a longer-than-anticipated summer.NEXT: Stats Show Devin Booker's Playoff Dominance