What a way to punch your ticket to your first NBA Finals.
Chris Paul put on a masterful display in Game 6 against the Clippers, tying his playoff career-high of 41 points, adding eight assists, four rebounds, three steals and zero turnovers, on 16-of-24 from the field and a scorching 7-of-8 from beyond the arc.
TAKEAWAYS: Paul takes over Gme 6 to push Suns into NBA Finals
Doing the bulk of the damage in the second half, Paul rose to the occasion, scoring 31 after half-time, outscoring the Clippers 27-18 down the stretch to help seal the 130-103 win.
Where does this rank among his best-ever perofrmances?
Let's take a deeper dive into the numbers
31: Second-half points
Chris Paul scored 31 points in the 2nd half, his most in a half in his career (reg. season or playoffs).
Paul is just the third player in the past 25 potseasons to score 30-plus points in the second half of a series-clinching game, joining Stephen Curry and Anthony Davis.
|Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors)||33||2019|
|Chris Paul (Phoenix Suns)||31||2021|
|Anthony Davis (Los Angeles Lakers)||31||2020|
|Anthony Davis (New Orleans Pelicans)||31||2018|
His 31 points in the second half are also a career-high for points in any half in the regular season or postseason, per Elias Sports.
SOCIAL REACTION: NBA players marvel on Twitter at CP3's performance
1: Paul passes Michael Jordan
It's wild to think that just two years ago, many through Paul's prime was coming to a close. In 2021 he's not only proved a lot of people wrong, but he's put himself alongide some legendary company in the process.
Paul became the oldest player in NBA history with 35-plus points in consecutive closeout games, passing none other than Michael Jordan (33).
The 36-year-old dropped 37 points in Game 4 against the Denver Nuggets in the previous round and when it came time to close out the Clippers he poured in 41.
He also becomes the oldest player in NBA history with 40-plus points in a closeout game and the second-oldest player ever to drop 40 in a playoff game, again passing Michael Jordan, who did so in 1998 (aged 35) per StatMuse.
After dropping 37 in the series-clincher against Denver, Chris Paul poured in 41 Wednesday night against the Clippers.- ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) July 1, 2021
He became the oldest player in postseason history with 35 points in consecutive close-out games within a postseason.
The previous oldest? Michael Jordan. pic.twitter.com/NJ7oU6XW7Q
0: Taking care of the rock
Having the ball in his hands for most of the game, Paul was not only incredibly efficient, he racked up a game-high eight assists without turning the ball over once.
Paul is just the fourth player in NBA history to record 40+ points in a Conference Finals game with zero turnovers, joining Shaquille (2000), Michael Jordan (1998) and Hakeem Olajuwon (1995).
The other three players all went on to win the NBA title in their respective seasons.
Chris Paul carries a 4.5 playoff assist-to-turnover ratio in the half court into the #NBAFinals. He has yet to turn the ball over in transition this postseason.- Synergy Basketball (@SynergySST) July 1, 2021
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