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Monty Williams frustrated with officiating on Deandre Ayton in Suns’ Game 3 loss to Bucks

Ayton had five personal fouls, his most of the postseason

NBA: Finals-Phoenix Suns at Milwaukee Bucks Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Here is what Phoenix Suns coach Monty Williams said after his team’s 120-100 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 3 of the NBA Finals at Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee on Sunday night.

On how he would assess the Suns’ loss:

“There’s a lot of ways you can spin it, but they played with a great deal of aggression for longer stretches than we did. We knew it was coming. We did not respond to it well tonight, especially in the second and third quarters. The turnovers certainly hurt us, points in the paint, everything we have been talking about the whole series. So it was a tough lesson for us to learn. You know what was coming, but (we) just didn’t do enough consistently to withstand their attacking the paint, whether it was penetration, offensive rebounding. We gave them so many possessions, so we lost a shot and then they scored off of it. It was a double whammy.”

On his message to Suns starting shooting guard Devin Booker late in the game:

“Just talking to him about the game, the kind of force we have to play with. Just normal stuff. This is one of those games that you typically, in NBA speak, say, ‘Flush it.’ 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. We saw it in spurts. Just didn’t have enough of it tonight to hold them off and maintain any level of consistency. Usually, when we play with a great deal of force and edge, the consistency follows. We just weren’t consistent with that tonight.”

On how much having starting center Deandre Ayton in foul trouble puts the Suns in a bind:

“Yeah, it does. But that’s going to happen. I’m not going to get into the complaining publicly about fouls. Just not going to do that. But you can look — we had 16 free throws tonight. One person (Bucks superstar forward Giannis Antetokounmpo) had 17. So DA is — we got to learn from that. We got to beat guys to the spot. He’ll grow from this, I promise you he will.”

On the Bucks winning the battle in second-chance points, fastbreak points and points off turnovers:

“Yeah, I mean you look at, conversely, ours, it’s like a tale of two cities, you know what I’m saying? They had so many points in the paint, plus-14. But the second-chance points, that was a struggle for us. We know that’s what they want to do. So we got to come up with the 50/50 balls. We got to box out better. That’s on us. We can’t blame anybody else for that. That’s us.”

On playing Suns backup center Frank Kaminsky for almost 14 minutes:

“Needed some size, for sure. We needed some size in the paint, rebounding. And, offensively, Frank does move the ball from side to side. I didn’t see enough of that tonight. When the ball moved from side to side or we got two or three passes, the offense looked like it had some type of flow. But we just didn’t have enough of that.”

On what the Suns can draw from losing Game 3 against the Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers in earlier rounds:

“I think we know that we have to play with an unreal amount of aggression and energy for 48 minutes. That’s the deal. All of our guys know that we didn’t. We have had this happen to us before in the playoffs, and so I expect our guys to bounce back.”

On what he felt blew the game open for the Bucks during their 24-6 run to close the third quarter:

“Yeah, I have to look at the film, but it looked like we lost a few guys. (Bucks starting guard) Jrue (Holiday) hit some shots, just from my recollection. And we were not able to sustain any flow on offense. The ball got a bit stagnant. But we were taking the ball out of the net and playing against their set defense. I think Jrue got loose a little bit. We went under on his screen, and then he just hit some tough threes. Other than that, I have to look at the film to give you a better answer.”

On what he felt contributed to Booker’s 10-point night on 3-of-14 shooting:

“Probably a bunch of everything. Their aggression, their defense. They keyed on him. He missed some shots. So that’s going to happen. He’s been in this situation before, as you guys alluded to. 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 bounce back.”

On what he tells Ayton when he is being targeted by the Bucks to get him off the floor:

“Yeah, that’s a tough one. I don’t even want to go there. It’s pretty self-explanatory. We got to figure out or define, what is a legal guarding position? Because there are times where he can move his hands out of the way, but it’s hard to tell a guy what to do when somebody is running into you, you know what I mean? I don’t know what a legal guarding position is at times. But they were aggressive and we have to give them credit. I’m not going to sit here and complain about a team that is aggressive. But we have to understand how the refs are calling the game and then adjust to that. There’s a ton of physicality in the game, for sure, but as far as teaching him, we got to look at the film and see where he can have better body position and pick up some charges when they present themselves.”

On what was working for Ayton when he had 12 of his 18 points in the first quarter:

“Yeah, we always want to go to him, for sure. He puts pressure on the rim. We tried to post him up a couple of times and he scored. He just had a good game going, but the foul trouble didn’t allow for him to continue it. When he can have that kind of production, it makes us a really good team. And we expect him to play that way again.”

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