Devin Booker refuses to blame scoring woes on broken nose, mask as Phoenix Suns lose Game 3 to LA Clippers

LOS ANGELES — Phoenix Suns star Devin Booker said he received eight shots of a numbing agent when his break nose was put back in place between Games 2 and 3 of the western Conference finals. then, wearing a clean mask to protect his face, Booker went out and lost twice that many shots in Thursday ‘s 106-92 passing to the LA Clippers in Game 3. Booker, who came into the night averaging 28.3 points in the playoffs, went just 5-for-21 from the battlefield ( 1-for-7 from 3 ) and finished with 15 points as the Clippers snapped the Suns ‘ nine-game postseason winning streak to draw within 2-1 in the series. It was just the third gear prison term in Booker ‘s career that he played 40 or more minutes and scored 15 points or fewer, according to ESPN Stats & Information research. Despite his struggles, the All-Star guard would n’t blame his scoring woes on his nose, which he broke in three places during a head-on collision with Clippers guard Patrick Beverley in Game 2 on Tuesday.

“ The nose feels fine, ” Booker said. “ We fair lost the game. ” The nozzle did n’t feel so ticket barely a day ago when, anterior to the Suns ‘ team escape from Phoenix to L.A., Booker underwent a fast-tracked warm-up. “ That was probably the worst depart, ” he said, with some bruising under his eyes showing above his well up buttock. “ It ‘s a procedure that they normally say they put you under [ anesthesia ] for, but we had a flight out a pair hours late, so they just numbed it up — all over the place, it felt like. “ Like eight shots to numb it up and then they go in there and put it back — they break it again. They break it binding in rate. ” Booker vowed the Suns ‘ confidence was not broken, even though fair about everything that could have gone faulty for Phoenix did — from Booker ‘s shoot to Chris Paul going an equally inept 5-for-19 in his render from an eight-day absence because of the league ‘s health and safety protocols, to Jae Crowder fouling forbidden, to Cameron Payne playing merely four minutes before spraining his left ankle. “ The heart is high, ” Booker said. “ We move on to the following one. That ‘s what type of team we are. We ‘ve been like that the whole season, so we ‘ll stick with that. We ‘ll come in tomorrow, go over film, regroup and get ready for Game 4. ” Coming into Game 3, Booker said he sought the advice of a early mask shooting guard with a killer midrange plot, Richard “ Rip ” Hamilton, who excellently wore a protective faceguard for most of his career.

“ He ‘s my darling player of all time, ” Booker said. “ I ‘ve had short conversations with him in the past, and I thought this was the perfective clock to talk to him some more and get some advice. ” Booker said Hamilton told him he wore the mask long after the broken nose he suffered during the 2003-04 temper healed because it put him in character. “ He felt comfortable getting in the paint. He felt like he had extra protection, he had an extra layer, ” Booker relayed. “ He said, ‘Just do n’t worry about it. Do n’t take it off when you shoot free throws, and equitable do n’t let it be a distraction to you. ‘ ” Booker said that the mask “ does n’t affect ” him, but Beverley ‘s defense might have. Over the past two games of the series, Booker shoot barely 3-for-15 with the Clippers ‘ defend defending him, according to ESPN Stats & Information research. “ He ‘s extremist aggressive, ” Booker said of Beverley. “ He ‘s traverse, limiting touches. He has one objective out there, and we understand that. so I feel like other things should open up, and we have to look at the film and see what ‘s open and see what we can get. ” Suns coach Monty Williams said he knows Booker will “ make no excuses ” for his operation — whether he ‘s able to smell the popcorn in the stands or not — but he will get in his ear prior to Game 4.

“ Go out there and basket, ” Williams said, when asked to share the message he ‘ll impart. “ Do n’t forget who you are. ” arsenic off as Booker and Paul were — their 10-for-40 ( 25 % ) combined output was the worst field goal percentage by All-Star teammates in a playoff game since 1957, according to the Elias Sports Bureau — they were on the same page when it came to processing the personnel casualty. “ He got the mask. He ‘s fine, ” Paul said. “ We ‘re not one of those teams looking for excuses and all that stuff. Give [ the Clippers ] their credit rating — they played actually well tonight. We ‘ll get quick for Game 4. ”

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