Cam Payne: Game 1 shooting, Suns fans ‘definitely got my confidence up’

May 3, 2022, 5:49 PM | Updated: 5:58 pm

Phoenix Suns backup point guard Cam Payne is back to feeling like his normal self following Monday night’s win over the Dallas Mavericks.

In the 121-114 victory in Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals, Payne scored 9 points on 4-of-8 shooting, including going 1-for-3 from three-point range.

He also added five rebounds, three assists and one steal in just over 19 minutes on the floor.

“That was huge,” he told Arizona Sports’ Burns & Gambo on Tuesday of finding his shooting stroke in Game 1.  “And then it was even better (because) it was in the Valley, so definitely got my confidence up.”

The Mavericks also pose a different matchup for the Suns compared to the New Orleans Pelicans, who Phoenix eliminated 4-2 in the first round of the playoffs.

Dallas doesn’t possess the size that New Orleans has and likes to play small ball while also playing at the slowest pace in the NBA.

“It’s definitely a big difference,” Payne said. “Got to find a way to not foul and try to keep them off the three-point line.

“This past series (vs. New Orleans), that really wasn’t the case to run them off the three, but this series you’ve got to limit their threes as much as possible. So it was just a little different kind of gameplan and then obviously they’ve got a bulldog up there with Luka (Doncic). He’s a great player so we got to find ways to limit his numbers and keep him off the three-point line.”

Doncic led all scorers in Game 1 with 45 points on 15-of-30 shooting while going 4-for-11 (36.4%) from three.

As a team, the Mavs shot an impressive 41% on 16-of-39 attempts from beyond the arc on Monday night, but only managed to shoot 47.1% (40-for-85) from the floor.

“I’d probably say one of the main things is just knowing the personnel, following the gameplan and knowing those guys who really wanna catch and shoot to run them off the line,” Payne said.

Up 1-0 in the series, the Suns host the Mavs in Game 2 from Footprint Center on Wednesday at 7 p.m.

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

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