NBA

NBA playoffs 2021: Booker plays down career first triple-double after Suns sizzle in Game 1

By Sports Desk June 20, 2021

Devin Booker recorded his first career triple-double but the Phoenix Suns All-Star insisted he is purely focused on winning after guiding the franchise past the Los Angeles Clippers in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals.

Booker was the star of the show with 40 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists as the second-seeded Suns drew first blood against the Clippers 120-114 in Phoenix on Sunday.

With star team-mate Chris Paul (COVID-19 health and safety protocols) sidelined, Booker – in the midst of his first NBA playoffs campaign – became the first Suns player to register a triple-double in the postseason since Hall of Famer Steve Nash in 2005.

Booker also became the third youngest player in NBA history to record a 40-point triple-double in the playoffs – only Luka Doncic and Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson have achieved the feat at a younger age.

"I'll let you guys do the rankings," Booker said. "I'm just going out there to win every game possible.

"I've been saying this since the start of the playoffs — every next game is the biggest game."

Suns team-mate Jae Crowder said: "I don't understand why everyone's acting surprised at this point.

"This is his first time on this stage but he's capable. He's more than capable. He's more than ready. He prepares like no other."

The Clippers – featuring in the Conference Finals for the first time in their history – were without star Kawhi Leonard for a third consecutive game due to a knee injury.

Paul George (34 points) and Reggie Jackson (24 points) tried to inspire the fourth seeds on the road in the series opener.

"I have no excuse," Clippers head coach Tyronn Lue said. "I thought we played hard and competed. A little credit — they were making shots and we didn't. But I loved our fight. I loved what I saw."

George added: "We got to figure out how to counter, which we will, figure out another game plan. I think this was a good feel-out game to see adjustments. We have been great at adjusting."

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    Representing the Russian Olympic Committee, Medvedev appeared fatigued at times in his 6-4 7-6 (10-8) triumph over Kazakhstan's Alexander Bublik at the Ariake Tennis Park.

    The conditions in the Japanese capital were sweltering on Saturday but Novak Djokovic was able to keep his cool in coasting to a 6-2 6-2 win against Hugo Dellien.

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    Medvedev, who saved three of four break points and now has a 3-0 head-to-head record over Bublik, was pretty pointed about what he feels should be done about the heat.

    "Like they do in Mexico, the matches maybe should start at six (pm) because the heat actually gets much, much lighter. We all try to practise at six," said Olympics debutant Medvedev, who next plays Sumit Nagal.

    "The fact that we have only one minute between changeovers is a joke. If you ask, let's say 200 tennis players that are here, I think 195 will tell you that one minute is a joke. It should be 1:30.

    "But you have to play, that's the Olympics, you go for the medal. You're not here to cry about the heat. It was really tough for both of us. We talked about this after the match on the court. It was unbelievably hot. But you need to get through it."

    Fellow Russian athlete Aslan Karatsev (11) defeated Tommy Paul 6-3 6-2 to set up a meeting with Jeremy Chardy, while Lorenzo Sonego (13), Ugo Humbert (14), Fabio Fognini (15) and Alejandro Davidovich Fokina (16) all progressed.

    DJOKOVIC UP AND RUNNING

    Since winning bronze in Beijing 13 years ago, Djokovic has not had the best of luck at the Olympics – losing in 2012 and 2016 to Juan Martin del Potro on both occasions.

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    Andy Murray is the two-time defending men's singles champion in Tokyo, but struggles with injuries mean it would take a herculean effort to make it three in a row.

    But he is also representing Great Britain in the doubles and together with Joe Salisbury upset French second seeds Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut 6-3 6-2 in their first time competing with one another.

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    Tampa Bay Rays 10-5 Cleveland Indians
    Philadelphia Phillies 5-1 Atlanta Braves
    Boston Red Sox 6-2 New York Yankees
    New York Mets 3-0 Toronto Blue Jays
    Baltimore Orioles 6-1 Washington Nationals
    San Diego Padres 5-2 Miami Marlins
    Cincinnati Reds 6-5 St Louis Cardinals
    Kansas City Royals 5-3 Detroit Tigers
    Minnesota Twins 5-4 Los Angeles Angels
    Milwaukee Brewers 7-1 Chicago White Sox
    Houston Astros 7-3 Texas Rangers
    Seattle Mariners 4-3 Oakland Athletics
    Pittsburgh Pirates 6-4 San Francisco Giants
    Colorado Rockies 9-6 Los Angeles Dodgers

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    Renowned for his route-running and his proficiency in making contested catches, Thomas produced at a historic level in 2019.

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    Thomas will now miss out on the chance to quickly develop an even better understanding with the two quarterbacks, Jameis Winston and Taysom Hill, vying to be Brees' successor.

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