There is a motive Chris Paul is called “The Level God.”
Within the Suns’ 123-98 victory over the Nuggets on Wednesday night time, Paul put collectively a efficiency that the majority NBA level guards can solely dream about. He totaled 17 factors, 15 assists and 5 rebounds in 31 minutes. Making his displaying much more spectacular, the 11-time All-Star did not commit a single turnover.
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“Simply studying the sport, man, simply discovering open guys, selecting my spots,” Paul instructed TNT’s Chris Haynes after Phoenix’s Recreation 2 win, which gave the Suns a 2-Zero collection lead. “We have got an unbelievable group.”
The Suns had six gamers attain double figures, and 12 gamers scored a minimum of two factors. Phoenix additionally stifled Denver’s offensive assault, limiting the Nuggets to 40 p.c taking pictures from the sector.
Whereas it was actually a bunch effort, Paul’s stat line stood out not simply inside this single field rating, but in addition within the broader image of playoff historical past.
15 and 0
Paul registered his third profession playoff recreation with 15 or extra assists and nil turnovers, essentially the most such video games within the 16-team period, per Stathead.
He’s additionally the primary participant with 15 factors, 15 assists and nil turnovers in a playoff recreation since, of course, Chris Paul. He has now hit these numbers with three completely different groups (Hornets in 2008, Clippers in 2014, Suns in 2021).
.@NBA playoff video games with 15+ factors, 15+ assists and Zero turnovers since 1984:
Chris Paul, 3
Magic Johnson, 1
Jason Kidd, 1
Everybody else mixed, 0
(H/t Stathead) https://t.co/f8nj5JEGNw
— Phoenix Suns (@Suns) June 10, 2021
15, 15 and 5
With CP3 nonetheless enjoying at an elite degree, it is simple to neglect the man turned 36 years outdated final month.
Solely three gamers age 35 or older have posted a minimum of 15 factors, 15 assists and 5 rebounds in a postseason recreation, per the Elias Sports Bureau: Paul, LeBron James and John Stockton. Fairly good firm.
|Might 5, 2000||Stockton||17||15||7|
|Aug. 18, 2020||James||23||16||17|
|June 9, 2021||Paul||17||15||5|
By shelling out 15 assists Wednesday, Paul pushed his playoff complete to 974. That moved him forward of Lakers legend Jerry West for 14th on the all-time playoff assists list.
Paul may bounce previous Isiah Thomas (987) in Recreation 3, and if the Suns make a deep run, he may find yourself within the prime 10 by the top of the postseason.
In Phoenix’s first-round collection towards Los Angeles, Paul shot uncharacteristically poorly, largely as a result of he was coping with a shoulder harm he suffered within the Suns’ playoff opener. His discipline objective share dipped under 40 p.c, and he drained simply two of his 10 3-point makes an attempt over six video games.
Now with that shoulder at round 90 p.c, according to Haynes, Paul seems to be rather more like himself. After going 6 of 10 in Recreation 2, Paul is taking pictures 58.Three p.c from the sector within the Western Convention semifinals, together with four of 5 from past the arc.
That is a promising signal for a Phoenix squad that’s peaking on the good time.