The Suns will have to play the rest of Game 3 without one of the players who helped them build a 2-0 series lead against the Clippers.
Phoenix guard Cameron Payne has been ruled out for the remainder of Thursday’s contest after suffering an ankle injury late in the first quarter. Payne turned his left ankle while pursuing a loose ball near the sideline and appeared to be in pain as he attempted to transition from offense to defense.
Payne finished out the first quarter, but he didn’t play the rest of the first half. The Suns later announced that the 26-year-old would not return. He left Game 3 with two points and one assist in four minutes.
In the first two games of the Western Conference finals, Payne filled in for Chris Paul (health and safety protocols) as the team’s starting point guard, totaling 40 points and 18 assists with just one turnover. He has been a key contributor for Phoenix throughout the season, excelling in his role off the bench.
The Suns and Clippers play every other day for the rest of the series, so Phoenix fans will be hoping he can recover quickly.