Jamal Crawford to Suns’ Chris Paul before Game 1 burst: ‘Shoot the ball’

Apr 18, 2022, 9:46 AM | Updated: 12:28 pm

Retired NBA hooper Jamal Crawford and Phoenix Suns point guard Chris Paul go way back.

Despite being a few years off from joining forces in Phoenix, Crawford and Paul were teammates for five seasons with the Los Angeles Clippers (2012-17). Over that time, the duo’s respect for one another grew.

So when the 20-year NBA vet told Paul to put the ball in the basket at halftime of Phoenix’s Game 1 matchup against the New Orleans Pelicans, the point guard listened. Twenty three second-half points later, Paul and the Suns walked away with a 110-99 victory.

“I have been playing for a while, for a long while to tell you the truth,” Paul told reporters after the game. “I think just naturally, you read like if Book got it going or Cam got it going, if DA got it going, or whatever, so over the course of the game, you just try to keep that energy there and if that means I got to score, then so be it.

“Book and them guys stay on me, they talk to me all the time, but Jamal Crawford, fam, one of my teammates, came up to me at halftime and was like, ‘Shoot the ball.’ That’s what he said to me and Book when we were standing over there. So I started shooting.”

It was an impressive 35 minutes of action for Paul on Monday night, with the point guard finishing with 30 points and 10 assists (both game highs) to go along with seven rebounds in the win. He shot 75% from the field (12 of 16) and 66.6% from long range (4 of 6).

The final quarter of play was Paul’s best, however, as he racked up 19 of his 30 points on 7-of-8 shooting to erase any sort of comeback attempt by the Pelicans.

The Suns and Pelicans square off for Game 2 of the first-round playoff matchup Tuesday night at 7 p.m. Tune to 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station for all the action.

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