PHOENIX — The chant grew louder each time. So did the confident tone.
Moments after the Phoenix Suns cemented a 120-114 victory against the Los Angeles Clippers in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals, the 16,583 fans in the sell-out crowd streamed out to the arena concourse, repeating what has recently become a catchphrase.
“Suns in four!!” the fans yelled in unison. “Suns in four!!”
That’s the same chant made by Suns fan Nick McKellar, who attended Game 1 after defending himself against two rowdy Denver Nuggets fans in the last round.
Suns fans have every right to feel confident, as their team has won eight consecutive playoff games, the longest playoff winning streak in team history. But they might be overly optimistic in expressing hopes for a sweep against the Clippers because both teams were missing key players in Game 1.
Suns guard Chris Paul remained in the NBA’s health and safety protocols and Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard was out for a third consecutive game with an injured right knee.
Both teams have the roster depth, coaching smarts and collective resiliency to fight in the postseason trenches. The question is which team is better at handling their star's absence.
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