Suns’ Devin Booker doesn’t play 4th quarter of NBA Finals’ Game 3 loss

Jul 11, 2021, 9:07 PM | Updated: Jul 12, 2021, 9:33 pm
Head coach Monty Williams of the Phoenix Suns talks with Devin Booker #1 during the second half in ...
Head coach Monty Williams of the Phoenix Suns talks with Devin Booker #1 during the second half in Game Three of the NBA Finals against the Milwaukee Bucks at Fiserv Forum on July 11, 2021 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)

The Phoenix Suns lost Game 3 of the NBA Finals to the Milwaukee Bucks 120-100 at Fiserv Forum on Sunday night.

Phoenix still leads the series 2-1.

But what was missing in the fourth quarter was Suns guard Devin Booker.

The All-Star came out at the break just before the final period and spent the entire 12 minutes on the bench.

Head coach Monty Williams was seen speaking to Booker with his arm around the Suns guard.

“Just talking to him about the game, the kind of force we have to play with — just normal stuff,” Williams said of his conversation with Booker. “This is one of those games where you’d typically say in NBA speak, ‘Just flush it.’ But you can’t in the Finals.

“We have to watch the film and learn and get back to playing our kind of basketball consistently. We saw it in spurts. Just didn’t have enough of it tonight to hold them off and maintain any level of consistency. Usually when we play with a great deal of force and edge, the consistency follows. We just weren’t consistent with that tonight.”

When asked about the conversation with his head coach, Booker preferred to keep that between them.

“I don’t mean to be like that, but that’s between me and coach,” he said. “We have that relationship so we keep that in house.”

It was an off night shooting for Booker and Co.

Booker finished with 10 points on 3-of-14 shooting (21.4%) to go along with six boards and two assists.

He also went 1-for-7 from three-point range (14.3%) and 3-of-5 from the charity stripe (60%) in just over 29 minutes played.

“Their aggression, they keyed on him, he missed some shots,” Willilams said of Booker’s struggles.

“That’s going to happen. He’s been in this situation before. When you get to the Finals, it means you’ve been in a number of situations. This is nothing new to us anymore. He’ll bounce back.”

Suns’ Chris Paul (33:40), Jae Crowder (32:57) and Cam Johnson (30:20) all spent more time on the court than Booker.

As a team, Phoenix shot 40-for-83 (48.2%) from the field, 29% (9-of-31) from three-point range and 11-for-16 from the free throw line (68.8%).

Game 4 of the Finals is set to take place on Wednesday night in Milwaukee, with tip-off scheduled for 6 p.m.

Catch all the action on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Suns Station.

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