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Video/Quotes: Suns coach Monty Williams recaps Game 2 win over Clippers

The Suns found a rhythm in the second quarter and capitalized on momentum they built for a double-digit win

Los Angeles Clippers v Phoenix Suns - Game Two Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

PHOENIX — Here is what Phoenix Suns coach Monty Williams said after his team’s 123-109 win over the Los Angeles Clippers in Game 2 of their first-round series of the NBA playoffs Tuesday night.

On the Suns’ runs they had at the end of the second quarter and beginning of the third:

“We had one timeout where everybody (inaudible) was talking about the ability to guard the ball. They were just blowing by us, getting to the basket for layups. And once we stopped them from doing that and got the ball, we were able to get out and run and that generated some energy. Coming out of the halftime break, it was just juice, toughness, grit. Offensive execution was decent. But I thought we were able to get the stops in a row to start the half that really gave us a lot of energy.

On Booker’s 38-point game:

“I was planning on taking him out, first two minutes of the fourth, and then he get going. And then I said, ‘One more play, one more play,’ and he kept hitting shots. So I just let him go. But when he’s attacking like that and then he’s knocking down big shots from outside, it just keeps everybody off balance.”

On the team’s spacing and offensive play from Booker, forward Kevin Durant and guard Chris Paul:

“I thought the spacing was a lot better tonight. I thought we were organized a little bit then we were the other day. But just having the balance of him and Kevin being able to get to their spots with the live ball helps, but I thought Chris did a really good of just putting the ball in Book’s hands and just saying, ‘You go.’” And Chris was on the second side. So, Book scores in a number of ways, and when he’s going like that, I think the team feeds off of his high-level play if you will.”

On getting Durant early shots:

“We’re just trying to keep it as simple as we can and space around him. I thought (Suns starting center) [Deandre Ayton] and (backup center) [Bismack Biyombo] did a really good job of freeing him up with the screen. And I think the more they play together, they can figure out, ‘Is he going to go up top or underneath?’ And when he catches it, live-ball, he’s so tall he can see over top and see where the double team is coming from. But he can also just get that shot off.”

On Booker’s creation for himself and his teammates:

“I think again, any time we can rebound the ball, we rebounded tonight. We actually won, I don’t know what the stat was after tonight’s game, but almost every team that’s won the rebound battle has won the game. I think it’s nine out of 10 before tonight. So when we rebound like that, we can get it to any one of those guys and now, as I’ve said before, our best offense is a defensive stop. When Book’s going downhill like that, he’s hard to guard.”

On Booker’s development for creating for others:

“I think continuity helps, when you have a player like Book. Because you spend a lot of time in the gym talking, about spacing and where guys should be. And that allows for him to go. And then if he does have to make a pass, he knows where that guy is. And then the other part is, he’s just good. When he’s rolling like that, it’s hard to guard him when he’s going downhill. I think having Kevin on the floor allows for more space and then (Suns forward) Torrey (Craig) is knocking down shots. So he’s just a tough cover when he’s playing downhill but in particular, off of stops.”

On the Suns shooting five more 3-pointers than Sunday’s game and the balance between shots inside the arc and out:

“I think they are giving us a few of them, as Torrey is outside, (Suns wing) [Josh Okogie] is outside and they’re plugging the paint a bit with (Clippers center Ivica) Zubac. So that allows for us to get some corner threes. But any time you can get the ball in your best player’s hands and space the floor well, I think it allows for you to be more efficient. That’s what they’re doing with (forward) Kawhi (Leonard). He gets it at the nail (middle of the free-throw line), it’s a tough place to double team. It reminds me of back in the day with (Dallas Mavericks forward) Dirk (Nowitzki) when he played at the nail. That’s a tough spot to try to double team. We just got to do our best to give those guys the ball in space, and everybody else around them has to be ready to make a play. And I thought Chris was, down the stretch, he was really good in pick-and-roll… those three guys, two in live-ball situations, Chris in pick-and-roll. That allows for us to be efficient on offense.”

On Ayton’s mid-range shots in the first half that kept the Suns afloat:

“It was really good. I thought early, he was in the crowd. He was almost diving too low to try to get to his floater, and then he was passing it. After a timeout, everybody was like, ‘Dude, shoot the ball.’ And he started catching it in his spot and he didn’t hesitate. And those buckets, even though they’re twos, they allow for us to set our defense and we were set (inaudible) pretty good.”

On adjustments at halftime:

“People talk about adjustments all the time, and we make them all throughout the game. But a lot of basketball is just being able to sit down and guard the ball and keep a guy from getting to the basket or being able to contest a shot. And I think man-to-man, coaches, everybody felt it. We just needed to guard the ball and keep them out of the paint. (Los Angeles Clippers guard) [Russell] (Westbrook) was getting to the basket, Kawhi was beating the double team baseline. And if he beats the double team baseline, you got two guys behind him now. So you got to help with the third guy, and then that gives up offensive rebounds or threes on the back side. So we felt like if we could just guard the ball for at least two dribbles and force them into a tough shot and rebound, we could get out and run. But that was something that we all felt. And we have a saying here, ‘We call each other up, not out.’ So everybody felt it and we just executed a lot better.”

On Paul holding his right hand at the end of the game:

“I don’t have anything to report. He seems like he’s OK.”

On figuring things out even though it wasn’t pretty in the second quarter:

“I think that’s just playoff basketball. When you have a close game like this, it’s going to be ugly. There’s going to be some calls that you don’t like, there’s going to be some physicality. There’s going to be situations where there’s going to be breakdowns, and you got to put the fire out on the back side. Those things happen. Emotions are high, and I liked the guys, the way they’re getting after each other. Because they’re holding each other accountable. And that’s the sign of a close team. So all that stuff is just a part of playoff basketball, in my opinion.”

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