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April 30, 2021

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Suns, Sixers clinch postseason berths

Chris Paul scored 28 points as the Phoenix Suns punched their ticket to the National Basketball Association postseason for the first time in 11 years with a 109-101 win over the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday.

Paul scored 15 of his points in the fourth quarter. The Suns improved to 44-18 on the season and are now two games ahead of the third-place Clippers and one game back of the Utah Jazz (45-17) atop the Western Conference.

The Suns were coming off an East Coast road trip where they went 3-2, including snapping the New York Knicks’ nine-game winning streak.

Paul also had 10 assists and three steals and Devin Booker added 21 points and six rebounds against the Clippers.

Clippers new signee DeMarcus Cousins did not play on Wednesday after scoring 16 points in their last game. Los Angeles was without all-star Kawhi Leonard (foot) for a fifth straight game.

Paul George had 25 points and 10 rebounds, and Marcus Morris added 16 points in the loss.

In Philadelphia, Seth Curry scored 20 points as the Philadelphia 76ers clinched a playoff spot with a 127-83 rout of the short-handed Atlanta Hawks.

Joel Embiid and Tobias Harris each finished with 17 points and seven rebounds as the Sixers rolled over the Hawks, getting double figure scoring from a half dozen players in the 44-point victory.

The Sixers improved to 41-21 on the season by using a balanced attack that saw all 15 players get on the scoresheet.

“Coming into the season, our goal was to win a championship,” Embiid said. “There are a lot of steps to get there. But we have everything we need to make it happen.”

Shake Milton and Furkan Korkmaz scored 12 apiece and Tyrese Maxey had 11 for Philadelphia.

John Collins finished with 21 points, Solomon Hill tallied 14, Skylar Mays had 11 and Lou Williams 10 in the loss.

The under-manned Hawks played without key players, including Trae Young (left ankle), Cam Reddish (right Achilles) and De’Andre Hunter (right knee).


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