Suns Notes: Paul, Booker, Ayton, Kaminsky, Game 3

The backcourt pairing of Chris Paul and Devin Booker has reached historic levels this season, particularly during the first two games of the NBA Finals, Gina Mizell of writes.

Paul and Booker have caused problems for the Bucks’ defense, combining to score a total of 59 points in Game 1 and 54 points in Game 2. The two stars are now just two wins away from securing an NBA championship for the first time in their respective careers.

“I’m having a hard enough time trying to figure out how to guard those two,” said Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer, who’s thrown a variety of defensive schemes at Phoenix thus far. “I can’t come up with a good comparison for you.”

There’s more out of Phoenix tonight:

  • Mark Medina of USA TODAY examines the special bond between Deandre Ayton and former NBA player Mychal Thompson as native Bahamians. “I tell him how proud I am of him and to keep going,” Thompson said of Ayton. “He’s the greatest player we’ve ever had from the Bahamas.” Ayton has welcomed the advice with open arms, averaging 16.2 points and 12.1 rebounds in 36.5 minutes per game in 18 playoff contests.
  • The Suns could benefit from Frank Kaminsky serving as a frontcourt X-factor the rest of the series, Dana Scott of the Arizona Republic writes. Phoenix is already playing without Dario Saric due to a torn ACL, making it imperative that Kaminsky is prepared to step into the rotation. “For me, my mentality this whole playoffs is just, ‘Stay ready,'” Kaminsky said before Game 2. “You never know what can happen. I’ve been ready, I’ve been putting the work in.”
  • The team is treating Sunday’s Game 3 as a must-win contest, Duane Rankin of the Arizona Republic writes. With a win, Phoenix would take a commanding 3-0 lead heading into Game 4 on Wednesday. “For us, the biggest game of the year is tomorrow,” Paul said on Saturday. “Tomorrow. It’s a must-win game for us. We’ve got to come out with that mindset. Know that they’re home, they’re more comfortable, they will be in front of their fans, but we got to be us. We got to be us and we got to be the hungrier team, and so that’s what we’ll do.”
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