Phoenix Suns head coach Monty Williams didn't want to put any type of blame on Chris Paul after a Game 3 loss as he acknowledged that the guard was playing through an injury. In Game 1 -- which the Suns won -- Paul suffered a shoulder injury and since then he has been bothered by the issue.
On Thursday, the Los Angeles Lakers claimed a 109-95 win to take a 2-1 lead over the Suns. "I'll watch his face to see if I see the same look I typically see from him on a night-in, night-out basis," Williams said before the Suns' 109-95 loss to the Lakers on Thursday night dropped them into a 2-1 hole in the series.
"I'm not going to put him in harm's way." Paul had seven points, five rebounds and six assists in Game 3. "It is what it is: You control what you can control," Paul said. "I know I do everything on a daily basis to prepare myself to be ready to play.
When things happen, they happen. You gotta overcome it and get through it."
Paul wants his first NBA championship
"I'm probably not the guy to talk to about cruel stuff. I know what cruel is, so it's just basketball," Williams said, alluding to a car accident that killed his wife, Ingrid, in 2016.
"I know how bad he wants to win, but at the end of the day, when we get paid to do what we do, you got a beautiful wife and children with a Hall of Fame career. "He's handled these things well, and I don't doubt that Chris will come through this stronger and better.
But what we're going through now is not the worst thing in the world. Now, as it relates to his career and legacy, it is hard, and I get that. To be where he is and how he's played for us, and not be able to play at the highest level, that's hard.
But Chris is mentally strong -- he'll be able to handle it and help us the right way." Suns backup guard Cameron Payne suggested that his team has got to return to their style of basketball. "I kind of feel like our poise kind of wavered a little bit tonight, and we gotta get back to the meat and potatoes of our team," said Payne, who had 15 points, 6 assists and 4 steals. "I feel like we just got to be more aggressive and play Phoenix Suns basketball for a whole 48 minutes."