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Chris Paul Of The Phoenix Suns Controls The Fourth Quarter In His Team’s Game 3 Triumph Over The New Orleans Pelicans

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Chris Paul scored 19 fourth-quarter points to lead the Phoenix Suns to a 114-111 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday night, just five days after he scored 19 fourth-quarter points to lead the Suns to a Game 1 victory.

After the Pelicans stole a game in Phoenix, the Suns took a 2-1 series lead.

Paul has now scored 19 points or more in the fourth quarter four times in his career, according to ESPN Stats & Information research.

In the fourth quarter, Ayton instructed Paul that he needed to stop distributing the ball and start shooting more. Paul accomplished exactly that in the last quarter, going 7-of-10, including 5-of-5 on his mid-range attempts.

In the first three quarters, Ayton claimed he noticed Paul was passing it out the way he was supposed to, but in the fourth, he recognized the Pelicans were mixing up their defensive coverages. He told Paul about it at that point.

After starting the fourth quarter with nine points and 12 assists, Paul finished with 28 points and 14 assists.

Paul had 14 assists and zero turnovers for the second game in a row. His 28 assists are the highest in any two-game span in the playoffs without a turnover since turnovers became an official statistic during the 1977-1978 season, according to ESPN Stats & Information. John Stockton’s 20 in 2001 was the previous high.

For years, JaVale McGee stood by and watched Paul work his magic against the teams he was a part of. He’s had a firsthand look at it this year.

As the Pelicans made a comeback in the fourth quarter, Phoenix needed all of Paul’s big shots. Four lead changes and five ties occurred in the fourth quarter alone, but it was Paul’s pull-up jumper with 5:26 remaining that gave Phoenix the lead for good.

Due to a right hamstring strain, Phoenix guard Devin Booker was forced to sit out the game, and the Suns started Cameron Johnson in his place. Due to Johnson’s foul issues in the first half, Williams started the second half with Landry Shamet.

On Sunday, the teams will play Game 4 at the Smoothie King Center.

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