Chris Paul has accomplished a lot in his storied NBA career, but he took it to a new level on Thursday night.
As the Phoenix Suns defeated the New Orleans Pelicans to end their first-round series, the current Winston-Salem State University student and future Hall of Famer made all 14 of his field-goal tries for 33 points.
Paul made history by being the first player in NBA playoff history to make more than 13 shots without missing one. Only Wilt Chamberlain has had more successful shooting nights, hitting all 18 shots against the Baltimore Bullets in 1967. That was, however, a regular-season game.
“I had no idea,” Paul admitted afterward. “I suppose I remarked that I needed to shoot a little more at halftime.” However, I was in charge of the game the entire time. I wasn’t doing any temperature checks. Heat checks aren’t something I do because I don’t shoot enough.”
In Thursday’s season finale, the soon-to-be 37-year-old also had eight assists. It was a magnificent finish to a strong series for Paul, who averaged 22.3 points and 11.3 assists per game throughout the six games, shooting a scorching 56.3 percent from the field and only turning the ball over nine times.
In his sixteenth NBA season, the Winston-Salem, North Carolina native continues to defy his age. Over 65 games, Paul averaged 14.7 points, 4.4 rebounds, a league-high 10.8 assists, 1.9 steals, and only 2.4 turnovers. He made 49.3 percent of his shots from the field, including 31.7 percent from beyond the arc.
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Chris Paul and the Phoenix Suns will face the Dallas Mavericks in the second round, the fourth seed in the Western Conference.