The Phoenix Suns defeated the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday night and clinched their first playoff berth in 11 years. The Suns, who claimed a 109-101 win over the Clippers, haven't been to the playoffs since 2010, when the team was led by Steve Nash and Amare Stoudemire.
Suns star guard Devin Booker, who scored 21 points and grabbed six rebounds against the Clippers, couldn't hide his happiness and excitement. "It feels great," said Booker, who will experience the playoffs for the first time in his six seasons.
"It's been a long time coming. I just shut my mouth for five years." "Everybody that used to play for the Suns in the past would come through and be like there was a whole different level to it," added Booker, who currently is on pace to score the ninth-most career points by any player in NBA history before their first playoff appearance, according to Elias Sports Bureau.
"Believe me, I am looking forward to it, packing the place out, hopefully, if we get to that point and the atmosphere, energy and vibe around the whole city to be up."
Chris Paul the key behind the Suns' big season
Paul, who is playing his first season with the Suns, has been one of the biggest reasons behind their big season.
Paul, who played for the Clippers in the past, had 28 points and 10 assists against his former team. "I feel like I say this all the time: I know who I am," Paul said. "I knew coming into the situation, I knew who Book was.
Book had told me about some of the guys on the team. I knew from playing for Monty [Williams] how detail-oriented he was. Then when I got here, I got a chance to see the culture that they had already built. It's special."
Paul suggested it wasn't that hard to lead the Suns to the playoffs. "It's the work, you know what I'm saying?" Paul said. "It's the opportunity. As long as you do the work day in and day out, you expect this."
Even Suns head coach Monty Williams is positively surprised. "I had no idea that we'd get here this quickly ... in a short period of time," said Williams, whose team finished 34-39 last season. "Like I told the players just now, more to do, more to come. We are not satisfied. We are not settling."