The Phoenix Suns are sitting pretty in the Western Conference playoff picture. After spending most of the season stuck in the middle of the pack, they have emerged as a top-five seed in the West. They could still fall back into the Play-In Tournament if they collapse, though.
That’s why they need to be on top of their game. On Sunday night, however, they dropped their game against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Phoenix had control for most of the game, but in the fourth, the Thunder broke through and one. After the game, Thunder guard Josh Giddey spoke about their comeback, name-dropping Chris Paul and Devin Booker in the process.
“That’s what switched the game for us,” Giddey said of Oklahoma City’s fourth-quarter defense via the Thunder’s official YouTube channel. “I think we really buckled in on that end of the floor, and it wasn’t easy all night. Book made some really tough shots. When CP is in the pick-and-roll, you have to be switched on – all five guys. Because when he passes the ball out, we’ve got to rotate, I think. [At] the start of the fourth, we did an awesome job on that end of the floor. We took away their offense, what they were trying to run. We got out in transition. We made shots and made plays. So, the start of fourth, that group that started was great. And then the group that closed was great as well. They made a little run, but we hung on and got a really, really big win.”
Paul played fairly well against the Thunder but was pretty inefficient. He ended the game with 14 points, six rebounds, 13 assists, and three steals on 5-of-15 shooting from the field and 2-of-3 shooting from behind the three-point line.
As for Giddey, he was solid against Phoenix. The Thunder guard put up 15 points, six rebounds, and six assists on 7-of-13 shooting from the floor and 1-of-2 shooting from beyond the three-point arc.
Monty Williams Sends Message on Suns Collapse
After the game, head coach Monty Williams spoke about what went wrong for the Suns.
“Yeah, we had control of the game, but the turnovers that led to points and the fouling, that’s a huge separator,” Williams said via the Jump View YouTube channel. “They had more turnovers than us, but they converted. And the fouling is just something that we have to figure out. We have to do a much better job. I mean, Book goes for 46. Chris played a solid game. You can look at those numbers and say- we scored 120 points. We have to defend better. Doesn’t matter who’s on the floor. The defensive system hasn’t changed. We have to be able to defend better.”
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander Sounds Off on Devin Booker
In addition, after the contest, Thunder star Shai Gilgeous-Alexander spoke about what it’s like to defend Booker.
“You see where you stand amongst the best on both ends of the floor,” Gilgeous-Alexander said of guarding Booker via the Thunder’s official YouTube channel. “That’s what it’s about. Especially if you want to be the best. There’s no way to get to that unless you test yourself in those situations.”