PHOENIX (AFP) — On the brink of elimination for the first time in the National Basketball Association (NBA) playoffs, the Phoenix Suns must improve or watch the Milwaukee Bucks end their championship dreams on Tuesday.
That’s how Suns guard Devin Booker sees matters with the Bucks owning a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven NBA Finals entering game six at Milwaukee.
“Be better, as a whole collective group,” Booker said.
“We all know what’s at stake and what’s on the line. Everybody is going to have to give a little bit more because what we’ve done hasn’t been enough.”
Booker has produced two 40-point performances in losses as the Suns have struggled from three-point range and defensively in dropping three consecutive games.
“We’re going to continue to play our game,” Suns guard Chris Paul said.
“Book is one of the best to ever do this, so we’re going to figure it out.”
Paul, a 36-year-old maestro playing in the first NBA Finals of his 16-year career, writes “Can’t give up now” on his shoes before every game but now faces the chance he’ll suffer another playoff disappointment.
“It’s for real. No looking back now,” he said.
“We got to come out, be ready to play and it’s either win or go home.”
“Everybody has just been talking about embracing it. Doesn’t get any harder than this. We know that this is a must-win game. Nothing more than that. Now we got to hoop.”
That means better defending upon Bucks playmakers Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton.
“Just keep making them be tough shots,” Paul said.
“If he makes it, it’s going to be tough. But at some point we got to make them miss. That’s what we’re going to try to do in Game 6.”
Paul has struggled to score in Suns losses and the Bucks have denied them the 3-pointer success that marked their two opening series wins.
“We just got to figure out a way to generate more threes,” Paul said.