PHOENIX SUNS

Suns’ Monty Williams on Deandre Ayton’s Game 7 minutes: ‘It’s internal’

May 15, 2022, 8:16 PM | Updated: 10:57 pm

Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton only played 3:34 in the second half of the team’s 123-90 loss to the Dallas Mavericks at Footprint Center on Sunday.

The defeat in Game 7 means that the Suns’ 2021-22 season officially comes to an end in the Western Conference semifinals after posting both the NBA’s best regular-season record and setting a franchise record following a 64-18 campaign.

When asked why Ayton only played 17 minutes in the series-deciding game, Suns head coach Monty Williams simply said, “It’s internal.”

The rest of the Suns starters played a minimum of 11 minutes in the second half and 27 minutes total.

Backup center JaVale McGee served as Phoenix’s primary big man in the second half, playing 12 minutes and garnering four points to go along with five rebounds and one assist.

Third-string center Bismack Biyombo also saw nearly 12 minutes on the court, 8:26 of which came in the second half.

McGee had a total of six points and six rebounds in 16 minutes while Biyombo scored one point and in addition to two boards and two dimes.

Ayton finished the night with only five points on 2-for-5 shooting while only garnering four rebounds and two assists.

The starting center also shot 25% from the free throw line after going 1-for-4.

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Suns’ Monty Williams on Deandre Ayton’s Game 7 minutes: ‘It’s internal’