Phoenix Suns to face Pelicans in opening round of NBA playoffs

Apr 15, 2022, 10:00 PM | Updated: 11:04 pm
MARCH 15: Devin Booker #1 of the Phoenix Suns shoots over Willy Hernangomez #9 of the New Orleans P...
MARCH 15: Devin Booker #1 of the Phoenix Suns shoots over Willy Hernangomez #9 of the New Orleans Pelicans and Herbert Jones #5 during the first quarter of an NBA game at Smoothie King Center on March 15, 2022 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
(Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

The Phoenix Suns will play the New Orleans Pelicans in the first round of the NBA playoffs.

The Pelicans took down the Los Angeles Clippers 105-101 Friday night in the final play-in game to clinch the No. 8 seed.

The Clippers, Phoenix’s Western Conference Finals opponent last season, did not have star Paul George on Friday. He landed in the NBA’s health and safety protocols hours before the game.

The Pelicans outscored L.A. 31-17 in the fourth quarter to advance, with forward Brandon Ingram leading the way with 30 points in the game.

New Orleans finished the regular season as the No. 9 seed in the west with a 36-46 record.

The Suns enter the playoffs as the top seed in the Western Conference with the best record in the NBA at 64-18.

Game 1 is set for Sunday at 6 p.m.

The Suns faced New Orleans four times during the regular season and won three games. The most recent matchup was on March 15, when the Suns earned a 131-115 victory on the road.

Phoenix’s sole loss to New Orleans this year came with point guard Chris Paul out of the lineup due to a fractured thumb. However, the Pelicans acquired guard C.J. McCollum after the first two meetings, both wins for the Suns.

Sunday will be the first playoff game for the Pelicans since 2018, while the Suns look to embark on a trip to the NBA Finals for the second straight season.

The winner will face the victor of the Dallas Mavericks vs. Utah Jazz series in the second round.

You can catch Game 1 from Phoenix on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station.

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