The Phoenix Suns suffered their biggest defeat of the 2021 postseason, losing Game 3 by 20 points (120-100) as the Bucks reduce the Finals deficit to 2-1.
Milwaukee dominated the visitors across multiple key stat categories as they were led by their Greek superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo, who finished with 41 points, 13 rebounds and six assists.
Chris Paul finished with team-high tallies of 19 points and nine assists but couldn't spark a run as the Suns failed to stop the Bucks. Another reason for the loss was Devin Booker's rough shooting from the field.
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Unlike Game 2, when he knocked down big shots and stifled every possible comeback run by the Bucks, he couldn't get it going in Game 3. Although he finished the game with a playoff career-low 10 points on 3-of-14 shooting from the field, he was unfazed postgame.
"It wasn't well, obviously. But there's nights like that," Booker said after the loss. "The most important part to me is winning the game and we didn't do that, so I'm more frustrated about that."
Suns head coach Monty Williams was of the same belief that games like that happen in the league.
"When you get to the Finals, it means you've been in a number of situations. So this is nothing new to us anymore. He'll [Booker] bounce back."
"He'll bounce back."- CBS Sports HQ (@CBSSportsHQ) July 12, 2021
Suns coach Monty Williams on Devin Booker's 10-point performance in Game 3 #NBAFinals pic.twitter.com/CFbf2NVBKw
This is one of those games that you typically, in NBA speak, say flush it," Williams continued on Booker's play. "But you can't in the Finals. We got to watch the film and learn and get back to playing our kind of basketball consistently."
Booker's field goal efficiency of 21.4% from Game 3 is the lowest he's recorded from the field this season but such outings are rare for the All-Star shooting guard. It's just the 10th game in the last four seasons that he's scored 10 points or fewer.
Prior to this game, Booker was averaging 27.2 points per game at 44.3 shooting efficiency from the field.
"I think I can get better ones. We'll make that happen," Booker said postgame referring to his shot quality.
MORE: Putting Giannis' Game 3 into historical perspective
Booker has impressed many with his reliable play in his debut playoffs but he did have three consecutive rough shooting games in the Conference Finals against the LA Clippers. How will Game 4 pan out, not just for Booker but also for the Suns?
"I said after last game, this team is not going to give in," Booker added. "They're going to keep playing all the way through. So we have to bring that same effort that we had in the first two games and I think we'll be in good shape.
Only time will tell but the Suns track record of bouncing-back this postseason makes Game 4 a mouth-watering, cant-miss contest. It's scheduled, after a couple of days off, for Wednesday, Jul. 14 at 9:00 p.m. ET.
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