Booker Brilliant, needs more help from Stagnant Suns | Sports news


By DAVID BRANDT, AP Sports Writer

PHOENIX (AP) – When Devin Booker took his usual place on the bench at the beginning of the second quarter, the Phoenix Suns lost their stranglehold in game 5 of the NBA final.

Booker had scored 11 points and the Suns built a 16-point lead over the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday night. The footprint center was in an uproar and Phoenix couldn’t miss a shot.

Then things changed. In the next 5 minutes and 46 seconds, the Bucks began their comeback.

When Booker returned in the second at 6:14 minutes, the Sun’s lead was almost gone. The Bucks had taken all the swing and never let go on the way to a 123-119 win to take a 3-2 lead when the scene returned to Milwaukee for Game 6 on Tuesday night.

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“We came out and did what we wanted, got off to a great start and let it go,” said Booker. “They remained resilient and kept playing. A heavy loss for us. “

Booker was impressive for the second game in a row, scoring 40 points on 17 of 33 shoots after his 42-point performance in a game 4 loss.

But the rest of the suns were either inconsistent or nonexistent.

Phoenix looked stagnant on the offensive and relied on Booker to provoke insults himself. That was demonstrated by a crucial last minute possession when Booker drove to the basket, the Bucks defenses collapsed, and Milwaukee point guard Jrue Holiday tore the ball away for a theft to seal the win.

“We have to postpone it,” said Suns coach Monty Williams. “We know what Book can do with the ball, but all we talked about was getting the paint and finding people on the back. We feel that this is a formula. There were some times tonight when it just got stuck a bit. “

Holiday surpassed Phoenix’s Chris Paul for the third year in a row. Deandre Ayton scored 20 points but wasn’t his usual rim protecting self in defense. Jae Crowder was calm after a couple of early 3-pointers and a dunk. Mikal Bridges had a few good moments, but the suns needed more.

Booker’s teammates improved in the fourth quarter, but it turned out to be too late.

The Suns have always relied on Booker to produce, especially when it comes to scoring. Even when Paul – an 11-time all-star and future Hall of Famer – was inducted into the list in the off-season, the 24-year-old Booker remained the cornerstone, who had grown up for over six years while the franchise was growing too a championship contender.

The difference this season was that Booker usually had a lot of help.

The Suns launched a high-octane offensive that put a premium on quick passes and sharing the ball. Coach Monty Williams likes to call it the 0.5-second offensive because he wanted a pass, shot or drive within half a second.

The offense clicked early in the final and the Suns went 2-0 in a series. It was the Bucks who struggled to find enough help for two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo. But Milwaukee flipped the script and won the last three games – partly because Booker can’t do it all on his own.

Phoenix no longer has a mulligan. If the Suns don’t want to watch the Bucks party in Milwaukee, they’ll have to find out before the NBA Finals return to Wisconsin.

“We’re ready man, we’re ready for the next game,” said Bridges. “If you pout about it, the season will be over in no time. So, we’ll learn from it, the coach will show clips and what we need to do better, but we know what to do. … We’re losing, it’s over. “

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