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.

Luka Doncic #77 of the Dallas Mavericks handles the ball against Cameron Johnson #23 of the Phoenix Suns during the first half in Game Seven of the 2022 NBA Playoffs Western Conference Semifinals at Footprint Center on May 15, 2022 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) passes against the Phoenix Suns during the first half of Game 7 of an NBA basketball Western Conference playoff semifinal, Sunday, May 15, 2022, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York) Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) celebrates a basket against the Phoenix Suns during the first half of Game 7 of an NBA basketball Western Conference playoff semifinal, Sunday, May 15, 2022, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York) Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul (3) looks to pass against the Dallas Mavericks during the first half of Game 7 of an NBA basketball Western Conference playoff semifinal, Sunday, May 15, 2022, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York) Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) looks for a foul call against the Dallas Mavericks during the first half of Game 7 of an NBA basketball Western Conference playoff semifinal, Sunday, May 15, 2022, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York) Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton and Dallas Mavericks center Dwight Powell, left, tip-off to start the first half of Game 7 of an NBA basketball Western Conference playoff semifinal, Sunday, May 15, 2022, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York) Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) drives past Dallas Mavericks center Dwight Powell (7) during the first half of Game 7 of an NBA basketball Western Conference playoff semifinal, Sunday, May 15, 2022, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York) Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul (3) looks to pass against the Dallas Mavericks during the first half of Game 7 of an NBA basketball Western Conference playoff semifinal, Sunday, May 15, 2022, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York) Phoenix Suns forward Cameron Johnson (23) defends against Dallas Mavericks guard Spencer Dinwiddie during the first half of Game 7 of an NBA basketball Western Conference playoff semifinal, Sunday, May 15, 2022, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York) Dallas Mavericks guard Spencer Dinwiddie (26) celebrates his three-pointer as Phoenix Suns forward Torrey Craig (0) looks away during the first half of Game 7 of an NBA basketball Western Conference playoff semifinal, Sunday, May 15, 2022, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York) Phoenix Suns forward Cameron Johnson looks at the scoreboard during the first half of Game 7 of an NBA basketball Western Conference playoff semifinal against the Dallas Mavericks, Sunday, May 15, 2022, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York) Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul (3)knocks the ball loose from Dallas Mavericks guard Jalen Brunson (13) during the first half of Game 7 of an NBA basketball Western Conference playoff semifinal, Sunday, May 15, 2022, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York) Phoenix Suns center JaVale McGee (00) dunks over Dallas Mavericks forward Maxi Kleber during the first half of Game 7 of an NBA basketball Western Conference playoff semifinal, Sunday, May 15, 2022, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York) Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul defends against Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) during the first half of Game 7 of an NBA basketball Western Conference playoff semifinal, Sunday, May 15, 2022, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York) Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul (3) drives past Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) during the first half of Game 7 of an NBA basketball Western Conference playoff semifinal, Sunday, May 15, 2022, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York) Chris Paul #3 of the Phoenix Suns reacts during the third quarter against the Dallas Mavericks in Game Seven of the 2022 NBA Playoffs Western Conference Semifinals at Footprint Center on May 15, 2022 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) Cameron Payne #15 and Jae Crowder #99 of the Phoenix Suns react during the fourth quarter against the Dallas Mavericks in Game Seven of the 2022 NBA Playoffs Western Conference Semifinals at Footprint Center on May 15, 2022 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic embraces Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker, left, after Game 7 of an NBA basketball Western Conference playoff semifinal, Sunday, May 15, 2022, in Phoenix. The Mavericks defeated the Suns 123-90. (AP Photo/Matt York) Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic , right, embraces former Dallas Maverick Dirk Nowitzki after Game 7 of an NBA basketball Western Conference playoff semifinal against the Phoenix Suns, Sunday, May 15, 2022, in Phoenix. The Mavericks defeated the Suns 123-90. (AP Photo/Matt York) Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker looks towards his bench during the second half of Game 7 of an NBA basketball Western Conference playoff semifinal against the Dallas Mavericks, Sunday, May 15, 2022, in Phoenix. The Mavericks defeated the Suns 123-90. (AP Photo/Matt York) Dallas Mavericks players celebrate during the second half of Game 7 of an NBA basketball Western Conference playoff semifinal against the Phoenix Suns, Sunday, May 15, 2022, in Phoenix. The Mavericks defeated the Suns 123-90. (AP Photo/Matt York) Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and players celebrate during the second half of Game 7 of an NBA basketball Western Conference playoff semifinal against the Phoenix Suns, Sunday, May 15, 2022, in Phoenix. The Mavericks defeated the Suns 123-90. (AP Photo/Matt York) Dallas Mavericks fans cheer during the second half of Game 7 of an NBA basketball Western Conference playoff semifinal against the Phoenix Suns, Sunday, May 15, 2022, in Phoenix. The Mavericks defeated the Suns 123-90. (AP Photo/Matt York) Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) drives as Phoenix Suns forward Jae Crowder (99) defends during the second half of Game 7 of an NBA basketball Western Conference playoff semifinal, Sunday, May 15, 2022, in Phoenix. The Mavericks defeated the Suns 123-90. (AP Photo/Matt York) A Phoenix Suns fan watches during the second half of Game 7 of an NBA basketball Western Conference playoff semifinal against the Dallas Mavericks, Sunday, May 15, 2022, in Phoenix. The Mavericks defeated the Suns 123-90. (AP Photo/Matt York) Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic celebrates on the bench during the second half of Game 7 of an NBA basketball Western Conference playoff semifinal against the Phoenix Suns, Sunday, May 15, 2022, in Phoenix. The Mavericks defeated the Suns 123-90. (AP Photo/Matt York) Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic smiles on the bench during the second half of Game 7 of an NBA basketball Western Conference playoff semifinal against the Phoenix Suns, Sunday, May 15, 2022, in Phoenix. The Mavericks defeated the Suns 123-90. (AP Photo/Matt York) Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) leaves the court after Game 7 of an NBA basketball Western Conference playoff semifinal against the Phoenix Suns, Sunday, May 15, 2022, in Phoenix. The Mavericks defeated the Suns 123-90. (AP Photo/Matt York) Dallas Mavericks guard Jalen Brunson drives as Phoenix Suns center JaVale McGee (00) and guard Devin Booker defend during the second half of Game 7 of an NBA basketball Western Conference playoff semifinal, Sunday, May 15, 2022, in Phoenix. The Mavericks defeated the Suns 123-90. (AP Photo/Matt York) Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) smiles after making a basket against the Phoenix Suns during the second half of Game 7 of an NBA basketball Western Conference playoff semifinal, Sunday, May 15, 2022, in Phoenix. The Mavericks defeated the Suns 123-90. (AP Photo/Matt York) Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) shoots over Phoenix Suns forward Cameron Johnson (23) during the second half of Game 7 of an NBA basketball Western Conference playoff semifinal, Sunday, May 15, 2022, in Phoenix. The Mavericks defeated the Suns 123-90. (AP Photo/Matt York) A Phoenix Suns fan watches during the second half of Game 7 of an NBA basketball Western Conference playoff semifinal against the Dallas Mavericks, Sunday, May 15, 2022, in Phoenix. The Mavericks defeated the Suns 123-90. (AP Photo/Matt York) Phoenix Suns players watch from the bench during the second half of Game 7 of an NBA basketball Western Conference playoff semifinal against the Dallas Mavericks, Sunday, May 15, 2022, in Phoenix. The Mavericks defeated the Suns 123-90. (AP Photo/Matt York) Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker, right, greets teammates during the second half of Game 7 of an NBA basketball Western Conference playoff semifinal against the Dallas Mavericks, Sunday, May 15, 2022, in Phoenix. The Mavericks defeated the Suns 123-90. (AP Photo/Matt York) Dallas Mavericks players cheer during the second half of Game 7 of an NBA basketball Western Conference playoff semifinal against the Dallas Mavericks, Sunday, May 15, 2022, in Phoenix. The Mavericks defeated the Suns 123-90. (AP Photo/Matt York) Phoenix Suns forward Mikal Bridges greets head coach Monty Williams as he leaves the game during the second half of Game 7 of an NBA basketball Western Conference playoff semifinal against the Dallas Mavericks, Sunday, May 15, 2022, in Phoenix. The Mavericks defeated the Suns 123-90. (AP Photo/Matt York) Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul, right, forward Jae Crowder (99) and center JaVale McGee react to a call during the second half of Game 7 of an NBA basketball Western Conference playoff semifinal against the Dallas Mavericks, Sunday, May 15, 2022, in Phoenix. The Mavericks defeated the Suns 123-90. (AP Photo/Matt York) Phoenix Suns forward Mikal Bridges (25) and guard Devin Booker (1) look towards their bench during the second half of Game 7 of an NBA basketball Western Conference playoff semifinal against the Dallas Mavericks, Sunday, May 15, 2022, in Phoenix. The Mavericks defeated the Suns 123-90. (AP Photo/Matt York) Dallas Mavericks guard Spencer Dinwiddie (26) points after a three pointer against the Phoenix Suns during the first half of Game 7 of an NBA basketball Western Conference playoff semifinal, Sunday, May 15, 2022, in Phoenix. The Mavericks defeated the Suns 123-90. (AP Photo/Matt York) Dallas Mavericks fans cheer during the second half of Game 7 of an NBA basketball Western Conference playoff semifinal against the Phoenix Suns, Sunday, May 15, 2022, in Phoenix. The Mavericks defeated the Suns 123-90. (AP Photo/Matt York) Deandre Ayton #22 of the Phoenix Suns shoots the ball during the first half against the Dallas Mavericks in Game Seven of the 2022 NBA Playoffs Western Conference Semifinals at Footprint Center on May 15, 2022 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) Devin Booker #1 of the Phoenix Suns reacts during the first half in Game Seven of the 2022 NBA Playoffs Western Conference Semifinals against the Dallas Mavericks at Footprint Center on May 15, 2022 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

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