PHOENIX SUNS

Suns’ Monty Williams stands by Deandre Ayton’s usage in Game 7

May 17, 2022, 10:00 AM | Updated: 11:19 am
Head coach Monty Williams of the Phoenix Suns talks with Deandre Ayton #22 in the second half of ga...
Head coach Monty Williams of the Phoenix Suns talks with Deandre Ayton #22 in the second half of game two of the NBA Finals at Phoenix Suns Arena on July 08, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Suns defeated the Bucks 118-108. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The Phoenix Suns’ 2021-22 season came to a crashing end with a 123-90 loss to the Dallas Mavericks in Game 7 at home.

Suns center Deandre Ayton played just 17 minutes in the 33-point loss and appeared to argue with head coach Monty Williams early in the third quarter.

Immediately after the loss Williams was asked about the center’s usage, but before the reporter could finish his question he received a quick answer from the 2021-22 NBA Coach of the Year.

“It’s internal,” Williams abruptly told reporters on Sunday.

Ayton finished Sunday’s game with five points, four rebounds and two assists.

Williams was asked during his exit interview with the media on Monday if he and the Suns’ 2018 No. 1 overall pick had a chance to speak following the loss.

“We didn’t,” Williams told reporters on Monday. “You know me, I am going to do everything I can to help us win games. At that point with the lead where it was, I made a decision to not put him back in the game. I’ll keep all the internal stuff internal, but it was just a decision I made. It also got to the point where I didn’t feel like Chris (Paul) and (Devin Booker) were going to help us at that particular point.”

“We haven’t talked, I talked to the team today but I have not talked to D.A.”

Ayton is due for a new contract this offseason but is a restricted free agent, meaning that Phoenix can match any offer sheet that is made to the big man.

He finished the season averaging 17.2 points, 10.2 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game on a career high 63.4% shooting.

Phoenix Suns

Phoenix Suns forward Mikal Bridges, left, talks to Toronto Raptors guard Fred VanVleet (23) during ...
Kellan Olson

Phoenix Suns get clutch with Mikal Bridges to beat Raptors

The Phoenix Suns got back to winning in clutch time and the recent terrific play from Mikal Bridges continued.
1 day ago
Phoenix Suns wing Mikal Bridges shoots against the Toronto Raptors at Footprint Center in Phoenix, ...
Jake Anderson

Phoenix Suns wing Mikal Bridges explodes for 29 points in win over Raptors

Suns wing Mikal Bridges was on fire in Phoenix's 114-106 win over the Toronto Raptors on Monday night at Footprint Center.
1 day ago
General manager James Jones of the Phoenix Suns looks on after the game against the Miami Heat at F...
Kellan Olson

Trade deadline mega preview: Will Suns get active in wide-open West?

The Phoenix Suns are one of a handful of teams that could come out of the West and improve their team before the trade deadline.
1 day ago
Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) battles for the ball against Phoenix Suns forwar...
Kevin Zimmerman

Report: Suns give Bucks permission to meet with Crowder; interested in Raps’ Anunoby

The Suns have given the Bucks permission to speak with their forward. Phoenix also has interest in Toronto Raptors forward O.G. Anunoby.
1 day ago
Cameron Payne #15 of the Phoenix Suns handles the ball against OG Anunoby #3 of the Toronto Raptors...
Arizona Sports

Suns-Raptors injury report: OG Anunoby out for Toronto

Suns star Devin Booker remains out for his 18th straight game, while Toronto's OG Anunoby is set to miss a second consecutive game on Monday.
2 days ago
Phoenix Suns' Mikal Bridges, left, celebrates after a basket during the second half of an NBA baske...
Kellan Olson

Mikal Bridges goes supernova in OT Phoenix Suns win vs. Spurs

If the Phoenix Suns finish a game ahead of another team in the Western Conference standings, remember their OT victory over the Spurs.
3 days ago
Suns’ Monty Williams stands by Deandre Ayton’s usage in Game 7