NEW ORLEANS — Top-seeded Phoenix SunsIn some danger with one star injury and an ascendant New Orleans PelicansFuture Hall of Famer: Team giving them problems Chris PaulTo close the game, he delivered a series-defining performance that included the best shooting game of all time.
Paul, riding his favorite play, made NBA history by becoming the first player to make 14-of-14 baskets on his way to 33 points and leading a comeback win 115-109 Game 6.
Only Wilt ChamberlainHas made more than he missed, once going 18-of-18, and again 16-of-16 in regular season matches.
Paul's longest was his last, a 10-foot pull-up in the lane with just 28 seconds left. It bounced around on the rim before it dropped. Paul, along with two 19 point fourth quarters earlier on the series and a 16th-minute first half in pivotal Game 5, was the difference-maker in his team's progress to the second round.
It was required because Devin BookerA hamstring injury caused him to miss three and a quarter games. Booker battled through the injury to return to play on Thursday, scoring just 13 points. With 1:42 to go, Booker made a crucial 3-pointer that gave the Suns a lead. It was a feed from Paul.
Paul was able to score on seven different defenders despite the Pelicans throwing everything at him. They came mostly in Paul's trademark style, starting with the mid-range off screens. Deandre AytonHe was able to get to his favourite spots for comfortable shots, despite being under pressure.
They rode the play to a strong streak in the third quarter. After halftime, they made 13 of the first 14 shots to end a 10-point Pelicans lead. Paul did six jumpers and Ayton made two. Ayton started the game with seven shots. Ayton was victorious with 22 points, shooting 10 of 12 shots, and a stunning 1-2 punch.
Pelicans' star also saw a change in style from the Suns. Brandon IngramFor most of the series, he was difficult to manage. Monty Williams tried to throw double teams at Ingram and Ingram couldn't get enough space. Ingram only made 8 of 17 shots, scoring 21 points and grabbing 11 rebounds.
The Suns will take on the winner of the Mavericks Jazz series.