NBA Playoffs Western Conference Finals Game 5 reaction: Clippers gut out impressive win, extend series

LA Clippers guard Reggie Jackson (1) celebrates against the Phoenix Suns during the second half of game five of the Western Conference Finals for the 2021 NBA Playoffs at Phoenix Suns Arena.
Photo of Andrew Ortenberg

Andrew Ortenberg

NBA

Show Bio

I'm an editor here at Pickswise who was raised in a household full of sports fanatics. Since I unfortunately never had LeBron James' jumping ability I wasn't able to make it to the NBA, and chose writing about sports as the next best thing. An avid sports bettor myself, I'm excited to get to write about the industry as it gets set to take off across the country. Buckle up.

I have to admit, I thought the Phoenix Suns would close out the Los Angeles Clippers Monday night. But say whatever you want about this Clippers team, one thing nobody can deny is that they’re gutsy. They’re one of the most resilient teams I can recall seeing in recent years.

After everyone wrote their obituary once again, the Clippers went on the road and pulled out a 116-102 win over the Suns. They narrowed the series to 3-2, and will have a chance to extend the Western Conference Finals to a Game 7 when it continues in Los Angeles on Wednesday night.

From a betting perspective, Los Angeles easily covered the spread and the total went over by a couple of points. Let’s break down everything we just saw:

The Clippers can’t be fazed

This Clippers team needs to be given all the credit for their mental toughness. It’s a significant testament to Ty Lue’s coaching ability, and we’ve all got to tip our caps. This team has dealt with relentless series deficits and injuries to key players, and they’ve bounced back every time.

First they got down 2-0 to Dallas, and won in seven games. Then they got down 2-0 to Utah, and won four straight. They closed out the Jazz series without Kawhi Leonard, and were without both Leonard and center Ivica Zubac on Monday night.

Whatever is thrown this team’s way, they certainly don’t fold. That’s more than a lot of other teams can say. Nobody can say what will happen next, but the Clippers have already put up a heck of a fight no matter what. If they pull off the 3-1 comeback, it’s not hyperbole to say this will be one of the most legendary playoff runs in NBA history.

Chris Paul and Devin Booker need to figure it out

The Suns bought themselves a bit of a leash by going up 3-1, but that’s gone now. Phoenix was fortunate to go up 3-1, because they certainly didn’t play their best basketball to get there. Booker and Paul have both been really struggling, and they’re out of time to figure things out.

Booker made some threes (for the first time in seemingly forever), but he was just 5/16 on twos. He was 8/22 overall in Game 4, 5/21 in Game 3, and 5/16 in Game 2. Paul was 0/6 from beyond the arc on Monday night, and was terrible offensively in Games 3 and 4 as well.

The Suns can’t beat the Clippers without their two stars stepping up. Deandre Ayton showed in Game 5 that he’s not the type to carry a team. They certainly can’t rely on role players like Cameron Payne forever.

Booker is going to need to prove he belongs among the league’s elite and take over a game. If he does the Suns will be headed back to the NBA Finals. If he doesn’t, the Clippers might just erase another big deficit.

Pickswise is the home of freeĀ NBA Picks and Predictions. Check out the latestĀ NBA Prop BetsĀ andĀ NBA ParlaysĀ as well asĀ NBA Best BetsĀ from our NBA experts.

Virginia Bonuses

See All
Unibet

$100

Get a $100 Risk-Free Bet!

Register for a new Unibet account & make a deposit

Place your first bet up to $100 risk-free!

Get refunded up if you lose up to $100

New players only. Terms & conditions apply. 21+. VA only.

FanDuel Sportsbook

$1,000

Get a $1,000 No Sweat First Bet for Steelers vs. Colts

Sign up for a new FanDuel Sportsbook account and make your first deposit of $10+

Place your first bet up to $1,000!

Get refunded if you lose up to $1,000

Must be 21+. First online real money wager only. $10 first deposit required. Bonus issued as non-withdrawable free bets that expire 14 days after receipt. See full terms at fanduel.com/sportsbook.

BetRivers

$500

Get a $500 Risk-Free Bet for Steelers vs. Colts!

Sign up for a new BetRivers account using promo code PICKSWISE

Make your first deposit & get up to $500 in free bets

To get $500 in free bets, wager $500

Must be 21+. Play in IA Only. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-BETS OFF

BetMGM

$200

Bet $10, Win $200 if Any NBA Team Hits a Three Pointer!

Sign up for a new betting account with BetMGM

Place a pre-game moneyline wager of at least $10 on a NBA game

Win $200 in free bets if any team hits a three pointer

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

DraftKings

$150

Bet $5 on Steelers vs. Colts & Win $150 If Your First Moneyline Bet Wins!

Sign up for a new account with DraftKings Sportsbook and make your first deposit

Bet $5+ on the pre-game Moneyline in any sport

Win $200 if your team wins

Offer valid for new players only. Must be 21 years or older to play. Reward paid in site credit. Full terms available at DraftKings Sportsbook.

PointsBet

$800

Get 4x $200 In Free Bets for Steelers vs. Colts!

Sign up for a new PointsBet account

Bet up to $200 and If you lose, you get a refund

You will receive Free Bet(s) in the amount of the losing wager(s), up to $200 each for four days.

Must be 21+. Full terms are available at PointsBet.

Caesars Sportsbook

$1,250

Get a $1,250 risk-free bet for Steelers vs. Colts

Sign up for a new Caesars Sportsbook account

Place your first bet of $10 or more

If your first bet loses, youā€™ll receive a refund up to $1,250 from Caesars in free bets

21+. Terms and conditions apply.

BetMGM

$200

Bet $10, Get $200 if Any NHL Team Scores A Goal

Sign up for a new betting account with BetMGM

Place a pre-game moneyline wager of at least $10 on a NHL game

Win $200 in free bets if any teams scores a goal

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

BetMGM

$1,000

Get a $1,000 Risk Free Bet

Register for a new BetMGM & deposit

Place your first bet up to $1,000 risk-free!

Get refunded up if you lose up to $1,000

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

PointsBet

$500

Get 5x $100 in Free Bets for Steelers vs. Colts!

Sign up for a new PointsBet account

Make a bet of up to $100 and receive a refund if you lose

Get this offer once a day for the first 5 days you sign up

Must be 21+. Full terms are available at PointsBet.

DraftKings

$1,000

Get a $1,000 Deposit Bonus when you bet on Steelers vs. Colts

Register for a new DraftKings Sportsbook account & deposit

DraftKings will match 20% of your deposit up to $1,000 total

To get a $100 bonus, deposit $500

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

PointsBet

$2,000

Get $2,000 in Free Bets for Steelers vs. Colts

Register for a new PointsBet account & deposit

Receive a free bet refund up to $500 if your first fixed odds bet loses

& a free bet refund up to $1,500 if your first two PointsBetting Wager loses

Must be 21+. Full terms are available at PointsBet.

Monkey Knife Fight

$100

Claim Instant Deposit Match up to $100 + Free $5 game

Register for a Monkey Knife Fight account & deposit using promo code PICKSWISE100

Monkey Knife Fight will match your first deposit up to $100

Deposit $100 and you'll get $100 bonus + a free $5 game

18+. Terms and conditions apply. You must live in one of the states where real money DFS is legal.

TVG

$200

Get Your First Single-Horse Win Wager Back Up to $200 if you don't win

Register for a new TVG account and make a deposit

Place your first single horse win-type bet up to $200

If your horse doesn't win you'll get a refund up to $300

21+. T&C's apply. Please gamble responsibly.

TwinSpires

$200

Get a $200 Sign-Up Bonus with Twinspires Racebook!

Open your TwinSpires.com account using offer code BET200

$200 bonus cash will be credited in increments of $100 for every $400 wagered

To earn the full $200 bonus players must wager $800 within 30 days

21+. Terms and conditions apply.

Underdog Fantasy

$100

First deposit is 100% matched up to $100 with Underdog Fantasy

Sign up for a new account with Underdog Fantasy

Make your first deposit

Every dollar (up to $100) will be matched! Deposit $25, get $50; deposit $100, get $200, etc

Must be 21+ to play. Terms & conditions apply