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Bridges, Ayton on Suns’ mentality in facing elimination in NBA Finals

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Phoenix will have to win Game 6 on the road in order to play for a championship in front of its home fans

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

PHOENIX — Here is what Phoenix Suns starting forward Mikal Bridges and starting center Deandre Ayton 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

Mikal Bridges

On what he felt like were the keys to the Suns cutting their deficit to one point in the final minute of the fourth quarter:

“Playing our way. We were just defending, finding each other, we was just playing Suns basketball.”

On what he felt contributed to the Bucks’ 43-24 second quarter:

“We just made it easy for them. We wasn’t — we took our foot off the gas and, credit to them, they stayed poised, we made that run, they didn’t react, they just stayed with it and took the lead. But we relaxed and that’s what hurt us.”

On his team resorting to isolation play through starting guard Devin Booker in the third quarter and if Milwaukee has done anything to get it out of its offensive flow:

“They don’t — they’re doing a great job just, you know, guarding. They got guys out there that can guard and just making it tough. Just speed us up sometimes and they — just credit to them, they’re doing a great job.”

On the mood of the Suns’ locker room after the loss:

“We’re ready, man, we’re ready for next game. If you sulk about it, it’s, the blink of an eye the season is going to be over. So, we’ll learn from it, (Suns) coach (Monty Williams) is going to show clips and what we have to do better, but we know what we have to do. But we’re ready, man, just do or die. We lose it’s over. So, we got to go out there and play our way and go get Game 6.”

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

Deandre Ayton

On what he felt like the difference was in the Suns’ loss:

“It felt a little on and off. We was playing hard in some spurts and when it got to a point where we still in this thing and long stretch of the game we kind of picked it back up. But games like this you can’t really take no plays off.”

On Bucks superstar forward Giannis Antetokounmpo recording an offensive rebound after a free throw with his team up three points with 13.5 seconds remaining:

“That was a horrible miss. It was just an athletic play, you know, he tipped it behind him knowing that his teammates are there. It was a bad miss.”

On what it’s going to take for the Suns to avoid elimination in Game 6:

“Everything. Just being relentless, man. You can’t really shy away from what really got us here, we just have to stay consistent. We just have to regroup and just make sure we keying on togetherness when things don’t go our way.”

On what the mood was like in the Suns’ locker room after the loss:

“Tables are turned now. Now we’re the desperate team. We had our chances of being up and trying to finish the job, now we’re in the same position that they were in. They’re up and now we got to go get it. That’s why it’s a little bit more fun.”