Chris Paul is the NBA’s most notorious perfectionist.
He has driven teammates mad over the years with his intense intolerance for mistakes. Even while delivering his message with a defter touch more recently, Paul hasn’t loosened his sky-high standards. Paul wants to get everything right.
As a scorer Thursday, he did.
Paul shot a playoff-record 14-for-14, scoring 33 points to lead the Suns to a 115-109 series-ending win over the Pelicans in Game 6 Thursday. Phoenix will face the Mavericks-Jazz winner in the second round – but not before appreciating Paul’s historic night.
Not only did he break the record for most shots in a playoff game without a miss, he did so by two shots:
Wilt Chamberlain holds the regular-season record 18-for-18. Chamberlain – who also shot 16-for-16 and 15-for-15 in regular-season games – is the only player to eclipse Paul’s 14-for-14 mark in the regular season.
Paul accomplished his feat against a pesky New Orleans defense (and pesky New Orleans team). But as the Pelicans applied pressure, Paul – who also had eight assists – just played his game. A superb mid-ranger operator, Paul didn’t even take a shot at the rim!
Paul has been a great mentor for Ayton. In describing his leadership style, Paul has said he’d never ask people to do something he wouldn’t do himself. So, Ayton might hear about those two misses.
Paul has the credibility to bring them up.