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A Deandre Ayton Game-Winning Alley-Oop Gave The Suns A Thrilling Game 2 Win

The greatest moment of Deandre Ayton’s young NBA career occurred on Wednesday night. The Phoenix Suns won Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals against the Los Angeles Clippers, 104-103, thanks to an alley-oop with fractions of a second left by their former No. 1 overall pick. As a result, Phoenix is up in the series, 2-0, with both wins coming despite Chris Paul being sidelined due to the league’s health and safety protocols.

Much of the game was defined by two things: Cameron Payne and Ayton looking like they were going to win this for Phoenix, and Los Angeles just not letting them do that. Having said that, both Payne and Ayton were magnificent all game — the former led the game with 29 points and pitched in nine assists, while the latter had 24 points and 14 rebounds, along with one moment that no one in Phoenix will forget any time soon.

But despite this, the Suns just could not put the Clippers away. L.A. always seemed to have this within a few points, thanks in part to players like Luke Kennard coming in off the bench and hitting just enough shots to stem the tide — Kennard, in particular, scored all 10 of his points in the fourth quarter.

And then, down the stretch, it became the Paul George vs. Devin Booker show. After a Kennard jumper with just under 90 seconds left, the Suns went down and gave the ball to Booker. A controversial offensive foul call in which Booker raised his arm and Patrick Beverley appeared to embellish gave it back to Los Angeles, George hit a pair of free throws on the ensuing possession, the Suns got nothing, and then, George did this.

Booker went right back down after that bucket and wasted no time, pulling up over Beverley and putting Phoenix back ahead.

George, once again, had an answer. The Clippers got the ball into the hands of their star man and he rewarded their faith, hitting a jumper over Jae Crowder.

While Booker turned the ball over on the next possession — the ball was poked away by Beverley and it grazed the Suns’ star’s hand on the way out — George left the door open by missing a pair of free throws.

Mikal Bridges missed a wide open corner jumper the next time down, but the ball went out of bounds and there was just enough time left. And then, Ayton made magic happen off the ensuing inbounds play, as Crowder threw a picture-perfect lob and the big man did the rest.

After much confusion due to the constant need for the referees to remind us they are, indeed, on the floor during basketball game, 0.7 seconds were put back on the clock. George caught the full-court inbounds pass, but was unable to get a shot off before regulation expired.

Beyond the huge games by Payne and Ayton, Booker dropped 20 with five rebounds and four assists, while Cam Johnson and Dario Saric both pitched in 11 off the bench. For Los Angeles, George was the man of the evening with 26 points, six rebounds, and six assists, with Jackson pitching in 19 points, Ivica Zubac having 14 points and 11 rebounds, and Kennard throwing in 10 off the bench.

Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals takes place on Thursday evening at 9 p.m. EST from Staples Center.

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