DALLAS Phoenix Sunsstar Chris PaulFor the first time in his postseason career, he registered more fouls and points in Sunday's 111-101 Game 4 loss against the Mavericks. This led to the veteran point guard vowing to alter his play to avoid any whistles in the future.
“It was crazy man. Paul declared, after Paul had scored six fouls and five goals in just 23 minutes. I can't imagine myself in situations that would allow me to give that ability to (the referees). “I just have to take a look at myself and find ways to improve.”
Paul picked up his first foul 26 seconds into the match and was called for four minutes before halftime.
Monty Williams, Suns coach said Paul should have been subbed out at the quarter's end after he had committed three fouls. He was not going to risk Paul getting called for his fourth foul. Paul was left in the game with just 1:52 remaining before the half.
Williams stated, “Everybody has to take responsibility and it all starts with me.” “I made some difficult decisions tonight. Chris should have been out of the game before halftime.
Paul committed his fifth foul just a few minutes into the third quarter. He was dribbling in the backcourt when he collided with the Mavs. Jalen BrunsonHe was being guarded by. Williams challenged the call. After a review, it was upheld.
Williams explained, “Just trying save our guy… hopefully it turns over.” “That's the only one you can use to say that you have it. [tried to]Keep one of your starters safe from a high foul figure.”
After the game, Kane Fitzgerald, chief of the crew, spoke to a reporter from the pool and defended his decision.
Fitzgerald stated that Chris Paul crossed into the path and made contact with the defender.
Williams knew Paul was just one foul away. He subbed Paul in with 9:32 left in the third quarter. Paul wasn't allowed back in the game until 10:28 in the fourth.
Phoenix held strong in that stretch, seeing the deficit shrink from seven to nine with the All Star floor commander. However, Paul couldn’t stay on court for another signature closing stretch. Paul led the NBA in fourth quarter scoring at 9.7 points per games.
He was only on the court for one minute and thirty seconds in Game 4, before he was called foul No. Brunson fouled him in another play.
“As Brunson jumps for the rebound Chris Paul grabs the right wrist, causing him lose his balance in midair and fall backwards,” Fitzgerald told a pool reporter.
It was the fourth time in Paul's playoff career that he fouled out, and the first time since 2018, according to data compiled by ESPN Stats & Information. Phoenix's offense struggled with Paul on the bench, shooting 42% from the field (including 27% from 3) in the time he was out compared to 53% overall (50% on 3s) in the time he was on, per ESPN Stats & Information. Paul, whose thoughts could have been focused on the harassing his family received at American Airlines Center on Saturday, avoided asking about specific sequences afterward.
Paul stated, “I had to look at the movie and figure it out.” “It's like a blur to me tonight.”
Suns shooting guard Devin BookerWith 35 points, he led the team. He also spoke out about the difficulty of Game 4.
He stated, “I've been to 500 basketball matches, or something similar, and I haven’t quite seen one as today.” It was hard. It was a completely different game. You know what I mean? It started off in foul trouble. Techs don't have a reason.”
Booker expressed confidence in the Suns' ability to respond strongly in Tuesday’s Game 5 at Footprint Center, Phoenix. The series is tied at 2-2.
He stated, “We're just going play our games, that's Phoenix Suns Basketball.” “We will play the entire time, regardless of whether the refs are in our favor or not. We are going to continue playing. Everyone on our team has experienced worse times in their lives.
Paul has had a nightmare series. He scored 14 of his 28 points in Game 2 to push Phoenix to a 2-0 lead. In the last two games in Dallas, he scored 17 points. He also had seven turnovers in Game 3, and six fouls in game 4.
Williams stated that his team should expect to win Game 5, and then close the deal back in Dallas in Game 6. Booker noted that the Suns' postseason series last year lasted six games and Phoenix won the first round. New Orleans PelicansThis year, it was six.
Booker stated that “we understand that it's series and it is the playoffs because of that reason.” “The NBA's best teams are here. Nobody wants to lose. Just take it all in, flush this game, and come out with the right mindset. I believe we are at a disadvantage if we worry about the last two games all the time.