Suns’ Chris Paul becomes oldest with 30 points, 10 assists in playoff game
Phoenix Suns point guard Chris Paul scored 19 of his 30 points in the fourth quarter to keep the New Orleans Pelicans at bay and set a milestone in Sunday’s Game 1 at Footprint Center.
In the 110-99 victory, Paul became the oldest player in NBA playoffs history to score 30 points with 10 assists at 36 years, 346 days old, according to ESPN Stats & Info.
He passed former Suns point guard and hall of famer Steve Nash, who accomplished the feat in the same building during Game 1 of the 2010 Western Conference Semifinals against the San Antonio Spurs. His performance also led to a win for Phoenix.
In a span of six possessions in the fourth quarter Sunday, Paul walked into a three-pointer, drew a double team and set up center JaVale McGee for an open dunk, nailed two more threes, cooked Pelicans forward Larry Nance Jr. on a switch for a layup and hit a short fadeaway jumper from the baseline.
New Orleans cut the deficit to seven before that stretch, and the Suns went up by 14 after Paul’s jump shot.
“I spent most of the game setting my teammates up, trying to make sure they (were) going,” Paul told the NBA on TNT crew after the final whistle. “Just because I don’t shoot much, doesn’t mean I can’t shoot. It was just a good game for us.”
Paul hit seven of eight shots in the fourth quarter and 12 of 16 for the game.
The veteran also became the fifth player to reach 10 playoff games of 30 points and 10 assists. The other four are LeBron James, Michael Jordan, Jerry West and Oscar Robertson, according to ESPN Stats & Info.
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.