Phoenix Suns fan reacts during Game 1 loss to Los Angeles Clippers. Apr 16, 2023; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; A Phoenix Suns fan reacts during the second half of game one of the 2023 NBA playoffs against the LA Clippers at Footprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The Phoenix Suns entered the 2023 NBA Playoffs as favorites to represent the Western Conference in The Finals. And that made sense, with the Suns acquiring Kevin Durant to join a team that features Devin Booker, Chris Paul, and Deandre Ayton. After all, Phoenix went 8-0 with Durant in the regular season.

But the Suns are already facing adversity through one game of the playoffs.

The Los Angeles Clippers took down the Suns 115-110 in Game 1 of their first-round series on Sunday night at Footprint Center.

Los Angeles pulled off the road upset — Phoenix entered Game 1 as an eight-point favorite —  while not even having All-Star forward Paul George, who’s out for the entire series due to a knee injury.

Kawhi Leonard scored 38 points, Eric Gordon chipped in 19 points, and Russell Westbrook — despite a 3-of-19 shooting night — made huge plays down the stretch on both ends of the floor.

ESPN Sports & Info tweeted, “This is the Suns’ first Game 1 playoff loss in the last three postseasons with the Booker-Paul-Ayton core. Phoenix had gone 6-0 in Game 1’s the last two postseasons, twice as many Game 1 wins as any other team had in that time.”

CBS Sports tweeted, “Kevin Durant has lost 7 straight playoff games dating back to 2021.”

“The Suns heard about their Game 7 implosion against the Mavs for 50 weeks.Tonight was supposed to begin their redemption tour. They got outhustled and outworked by the Clips, Ayton in particular. Absolutely brutal game for Phoenix,” tweeted Matt Zemek.

“Great game by Kawhi Leonard and really timely defensive plays by Russell Westbrook, but this is a bad loss for the Suns,” tweeted Dave King of Bright Side of the Sun.

Twitter user @maxmcc11 wrote, “It’s one game. They’ll probably still win the series. But the decisionmaking both on the floor and by the coaching staff does not inspire confidence. Inexcusable to freeze out Durant like that down the stretch. And the rotations were headscratching all game long.”

Jody Oehler of Fox Sports 910 Phoenix tweeted, “Deandre Ayton, max player, was outplayed in the paint by Jock Landale and Bismack Biyombo tonight. And Zubac. And Plumlee. And Chris Paul. And Russell Westbrook.”

Game 2 will feel like a must-win for the Suns before the series heads to Los Angeles.

About Matt Clapp

Matt is an editor at The Comeback. He attended Colorado State University, wishes he was Saved by the Bell's Zack Morris, and idolizes Larry David. And loves pizza and dogs because obviously.

He can be followed on Twitter at @Matt2Clapp (also @TheBlogfines for Cubs/MLB tweets and @DaBearNecess for Bears/NFL tweets), and can be reached by email at