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Chris Paul, Cam Johnson unhappy with Suns’ turnover, rebounding woes in second straight loss of Finals

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Phoenix had 17 turnovers and 17 offensive rebounds allowed in a six-point loss

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

Here is what Phoenix Suns starting point guard Chris Paul and backup forward Cameron Johnson said after their team’s 109-103 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 4 of the NBA Finals on Wednesday night at Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee.

Chris Paul

On what accounted for the Suns’ 17 turnovers:

“It was me, I had five of them. It was bad decision-making. That time we were down two (in the final minute of the fourth quarter) and I tried to cross over right there, slipped, turned it over. I had some bad passes in the first half. They got a significant amount more shots than us, so for me I got to take care of the ball. We got 17 turnovers, we shoot the ball too well not to have those opportunities to score.”

On execution versus adjustments at this point of the series:

“At this point both teams know each other. You know the sets. They can call out our plays, we can call out their play. It’s about execution. So down the stretch we got to box out, I got to box out, we got to execute. We’re a team that’s closed out games like that all season long. So this is a tough one but we got to bounce back. That’s why we fought all season to get home court.”

On what he wants to see from his team in preparation for Game 5:

“You can’t just bank on the fact that you got home court, you got to go out there and play the game. You got to go out there and execute, so we’ll do that, we’ll do that. We tend to respond well but it’s easy. We know what we got to do, we know what we got to do. Be better.”

Cameron Johnson

On what he felt like was the difference in the Suns’ inability to close the game:

“Turnovers and offensive rebounds for them. In games like this, such high stakes when you give them run-out points, that’s big swings. Those are tough. Then the rebounding aspect, you know, you get some long ones when you’re trying to get in there and put a body on them, and sometimes they’re just taking some bad bounces but we got to be better on that end for sure. I know myself, I can’t leave a game with just one rebound. So a lot to learn from, a lot to look at, but turnovers and rebounds, can’t happen.”

On the confidence his team had when Booker returned to the game in the fourth quarter with a lead:

“A lot of confidence because we’ve got guys who have been really good in these situations. But no matter what, we always know it’s going to be tough. Confidence doesn’t make you think oh, this is going to be easy, it’s going to be a cakewalk. Confidence is saying we got to buckle down and finish the job. Hey, they played plays down the stretch, they made plays, they hit shots, they got rebounds and they got stops. But hard-fought game all throughout, hard-fought game.”

If the Suns were shocked when the Bucks took the lead after Phoenix led for most of the second half:

“Shell-shock is definitely not the word. This is the Finals. It’s the Finals, you’re not going to get away with anything easy. You’re not going to coast to any victory. I’m sure they’re going to say the same thing. It’s three more, you know. Three more. You got to get two of those. But there is no such thing as coasting here. It’s high stakes, very high stakes. They know what’s on the line. We know what’s on the line. We came here up 2-0. You know what they were talking about in their locker room. Now you know what we’re going to be talking about in our locker room.”

If the Suns are confident they can limit the gap in second-chance points and points off turnovers:

“Yeah, there’s no hit hitting the panic button right now. There’s no panic. You go back home and look at it and adjust. I think we did some things better this game than we did last game. Just ultimately wasn’t enough to finish the deal. You come close sometimes but obviously it’s not enough.”

On Booker’s performance, including an 18-point third quarter on 7-of-7 shooting:

“You knew it was going to happen. You knew he wasn’t going to have another tough night. You know he’s going to get to it and he’s going to get buckets. That’s just what he does. He’s a great player. He’s one of the best players in our league. But it’s good to see him hitting shots. I think that’s something that he’ll keep up, just given what he’s done this season and in his career.”

On a scratch he had on his face and how physical this series has been:

Cam Johnson scratch (top left of his face)

“I haven’t seen it, obviously, but yeah, it was on that drive when I went to the ground. So it’s been physical the whole entire time and it’s hit after hit after hit. And trying to keep these guys off the glass, hit after hit after hit. But you got to love it, you got to embrace it. This is what we all dreamed of being in this situation, right? This is — there’s no time to hang your head. There’s no time to pout. This is 2-2 in the NBA Finals. We have an opportunity to do something really special and one thing Coach has said in the past is each game takes on a life of its own in the playoffs. And from a distance it’s like a seven-game series, oh if a team beats you one time. No, every game takes on a life of its own. We got to be ready to capture the next one.”