Phoenix Suns All-Star guard Devin Booker struggled in Game 3 of the NBA Finals. Booker shot 3/14 from the field and finished with 10 points. Ultimately, the Suns fell to the Bucks 120-100 on Sunday night.
Phoenix leads the series 2-1. Game 4 is on Wednesday night in Milwaukee.
In the postseason, when Booker struggles in a game, he usually comes back more potent in the next contest. After shooting 6/14 and scoring 17 points against the Lakers in Game 4 of their first-round series, Booker had a 30-point game in Game 5 and a 47-point explosion in the closeout game. In Game 2 against Denver in the Western Conference semifinals, Booker shot 6/14 and finished with 18 points. In the next two games in that series, Booker had a combined 62 points.
“Short memory,” Booker said during Finals media availability on Tuesday. “Just move on. Been there before. So just understanding that understanding the game, understanding situations that you’ve been through, and just trusting the work that you’ve put in, as simple as that. But my main objective out there is to win the basketball game.”
Deandre Ayton, who had 18 points and nine rebounds in Game 3, but was saddled with foul trouble, believes Booker will bounce back in Game 4.
“Yeah, he gets pretty scary after that,” Ayton said. “Just knowing his mentality and knowing that games like that don’t really slow him down. We know it was just one of those games, but I know he’ll step up, and as a team, we’ll step up, as well.”
According to Chris Paul, it’s just not on Booker; everybody has to play better.
“I think it’s more like what’s our team like,” Paul said. “This ain’t golf. It’s not tennis. You know what I mean? We’re all in this together. So everybody on our team took the loss hard, as we should. We never go into a game expecting to lose. If you showed me, somebody who expects to lose, I’ll show you a loser. So everybody on our team felt a way. We felt like we could be better. That’s why we used yesterday, we’ll use today to prepare, and we’ll all come out ready to play tomorrow.”
Booker has to be better for the Suns to win in Milwaukee, and history tells us he will bounce back. If he struggles in Game 4, this series will probably be tied at two, heading back to Phoenix for Game 5.