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Chris Paul, Devin Booker recap Suns’ crushing Game 5 loss

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Phoenix built a double-digit lead in the first quarter only to see it fall away quickly before halftime

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

PHOENIX — Here is what Phoenix Suns starting guards Chris Paul and Devin Booker said after their team’s 123-119 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 5 of the NBA Finals on Saturday night at Footprint Center in Phoenix.

NBA: Finals-Milwaukee Bucks at Phoenix Suns Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Devin Booker

On the Bucks’ 43-24 second quarter:

It was tough. We came out and did what we intended to do, get off to a great start and we let it go. They stayed resilient and they kept playing through. So, tough loss for us.”

On going back to Milwaukee for Game 6 and trying to force Game 7:

One at a time. Our focus is Milwaukee right now. That is how have you to do these series, one game at a time and yeah, that’s that.”

On the play in which Bucks starting point guard Jrue Holiday stripped him with 16.7 seconds left, when the Suns were down by one:

“I was just trying to score the ball, he was behind me. I turned and he was right there.”

If he felt his team’s offense was too stagnant in the third quarter, when he was playing in isolation extensively:

“Yeah, the whole third quarter was pretty much that. We were trading basket-for-basket for I think five minutes straight. But we’re at our best when we get stops and get out in transition, so that’s what we hang — I always say we hang our hat on the defensive end and that’s where we have to be better.”

On what he hopes to see from his teammates in preparation for Game 6:

“Just embrace it.”

On offensive rebounds that the Bucks got after their own free-throw attempts:

“I would have to go re-look at it, but he (Milwaukee superstar forward Giannis Antetokounmpo) is a — he’s a freak of nature. He’s a different-sized dude. So he, even if he’s boxing out, getting a hand on it is tough. So, you just have to put a body on him.”

NBA: Finals-Milwaukee Bucks at Phoenix Suns Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Chris Paul

If he felt the Suns’ offense stagnated too much in the third quarter:

“Yeah, it definitely did, especially in that second quarter when I was out there and we talk about it all season long, we have been a ball-movement team and sometimes the switching can cause you to do that. We exploit it at times and sometimes we don’t. We’ll go back and look at the film and see what we could have did better.”

On what he wants to see from his teammates in preparation for Game 6:

“We knew this wasn’t going to be easy. We didn’t expect it to be. It’s hard. (Phoenix Suns) coach (Monty Williams) said it all year long, ‘Everything we want is on the other side of hard,’ and it don’t get no harder than this. So, we got to regroup, learn from this game, but it’s over. We got to get ready for Game 6.”

On the Bucks’ second-quarter run and if he felt like that was where the Suns lost the game:

“It’s a 48-minute game. I’ll go back and look at it and see, but we got to play the way we started off the game, we got to put a full game together like that, especially going there. We got to win a game in Milwaukee, so that’s all that matters right now.”

On the Bucks’ 13-of-19 clip from 3-point range:

“I think we got to impose our will. I think in that third quarter, I remember there was a timeout and guys said they hadn’t missed a shot that whole quarter. Like I said, we come straight here from the game, we ain’t looked at nothing yet. So, I think we’ll go home, look at it, watch it tomorrow, we’ll see what we need to do better for Game 6.”

On Milwaukee’s offensive rebounds off free throws:

“Everybody’s out there anticipating a miss, hell, even he is, you know what I mean? So, we got to keep trying to box out. And with his length, he tipped the ball up in the air, ain’t too much you can do.”