Devin Booker Says Phoenix Suns “Locked Up” Ahead of Game 7

Devin Booker Says Phoenix Suns “Locked Up” Ahead of Game 7

PHOENIX — On the flight home after losing in a spectacular manner to the Dallas Mavericks in Game 6 of the Western Conference Semifinals, Suns star Devin Booker took in a card game with teammates Chris Paul and Jae Crowder and discussed their upcoming Challenge in game 7.

Paul has previously played in seven games of 7, going 3-4 overall but losing his last three. Crowder was split in two, sharing it with a first-round loss in 2014 while playing for the Mavericks and a second-round win in 2017 as a member of the Boston Celtics.

For the 25-year-old Booker, Sunday will be his first. It’s an opportunity he enjoys.

“I like coming here when everyone’s locked down, looking up and down from the front office and looking through the windows — you can feel their behavior,” Booker said after Saturday’s practice at the Verizon 5G Performance Center. “That’s why we play the sport. We thought we had something going on there [in terms of pressure] trying to break the franchise record during the regular season and that’s a whole different beast.”

So far, the series has looked drastically different depending on where it was filmed. In the Suns’ three home games at the Footprint Center, they went 3-0 and won by a 19-point average. However, in their three away games at the American Airlines Center, they went 0-3 and lost an average of 15.3 points.

Setting the franchise record for wins with a 64-18 regular season earned Phoenix first place overall in the postseason and the right to play every crucial Game 7 at their house.

“If you just look at league history, home field advantage, that’s a real saying,” Booker said. “It’s always hard to win on the street. I’m just thinking about the convenience of the game [41] Play here instead of being two out and just playing in front of our fans. I’m sure it will be rowdy there. It will be exciting, there will be a lot of energy. So I’m looking forward to it.”

Suns coach Monty Williams said his team used Saturday practice as a “clean-up day” to prepare for the crucial matchup. Two major areas of focus: taking care of the basketball and guarding the 3-point line. In Phoenix’s three losses in the series, the Suns averaged 18.7 turnovers and helped the Mavs average 16.3 3-pointers in those games.

Like Booker, Williams couldn’t hide his excitement.

“You can feel it,” Williams said. “From the time we knew we were going to be 7 in a game to now, the gym is intense. And that’s how playoff basketball should be.”

Between Saturday practice and Tippoff Sunday, the Suns need to find a way to while away the time without letting the pressures of a potentially season-ending game weigh them down.

“I’m about to get my nails done. spoil me a little Let my feet do it,” Crowder said. “I’m just trying to tick my boxes. Just make sure where my body needs to be, look at the game plan, the adjustments we’re making. Tick ​​these boxes. Watch the second half of the last game. And from that point on, I’ll be ready to go.”

Crowder added that on the Suns’ day off on Friday, he streamed a more comedic TV series, “Atlanta,” and will be opting for the more serious drama “Ozark” on Saturday. Booker, meanwhile, said he was getting “wired” but planned to play the Call of Duty video game and find other ways to unwind.

“Today is a hot day, I could go in the pool,” he said.

It won’t be long before the Suns will all be diving into their most important game of the season.

“It’s just about understanding your season,” Booker said. “So that adds good pressure, exciting pressure and I think we have the guys in this gym that embrace that. Embrace it, take it in and be ready to face it.”

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