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2023 NBA playoffs first round: No. 4 Suns vs. No. 5 Clippers preview

Here’s everything you need to know about the Suns taking on the Clippers in the first round of the 2023 NBA playoffs.

Los Angeles Clippers v Phoenix Suns
Kawhi Leonard of the LA Clippers handles the ball against Devin Booker of the Phoenix Suns during the second half of the NBA game at Footprint Center on February 16, 2023 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Clippers defeated the Suns 116-107.
Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Phoenix Suns and Los Angeles Clippers will meet each other in the first round of the 2023 NBA playoffs in a Pacific division showdown. The Suns are hoping their big splash at the trade deadline will help them win it all, while the Clippers look for some level of success after landing Kawhi Leonard and Paul George in free agency back in 2019.

No. 4 Suns vs. No. 5 Clippers

Head-to-head record: Tied 2-2
Overall record: Suns 45-37, Clippers 44-38
Leading scorer on Suns: Devin Booker
Leading scorer on Clippers: Paul George

Odds to win series: Suns -600, Clippers +400

The Suns entered this season reeling from a Game 7 loss on their home floor in the West semifinals, determined to make another run at the title. They were in the middle of the pack for most of the year but managed to swing the trade of the year by landing Kevin Durant at the trade deadline. Durant elevates this group to title contender status immediately, and his championship experience will be important for Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton to grow. The Suns are a dangerous group when healthy, but they might have depth issues since their roster is top-heavy with Chris Paul, Durant, Booker and Ayton all commanding big salaries.

The Clippers defeated a backup Suns team in the final game of the regular season to clinch the No. 5 seed and will now have to take on the real roster. Leonard is playing as well as ever, but the real question will be the status of George. He’s still out indefinitely, and the Clippers will need him to be able to take out what many feel is the best team in the Western Conference.