Phoenix Suns star guard Devin Booker had maybe his worst playoff performance on Thursday night but he refused to blame his broken nose and mask for the performance he put up. In Game 2, Booker broke his nose at three different places and he had to wear a mask in Game 3.
Booker was struggling all night in Game 3 as he 15 points on a 5-of-21 shooting. The Los Angeles Clippers ended up beating the Suns 106-92 to reduce the deficit to 2-1. "The nose feels fine," Booker said. "We just lost the game."
Just a day before the game, Booker underwent a fast-tracked tune-up. "That was probably the worst part," he said, with some bruising under his eyes showing above his swollen cheeks. "It's a procedure that they usually say they put you under [anesthesia] for, but we had a flight out a couple hours later, 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 back in place."
Booker insists the Suns are in positive spirits
"The spirit is high," Booker said.
"We move on to the next 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." Before the game, Booker sought advice from former NBA star Richard "Rip" Hamilton.
"He's my favorite player of all time," Booker said. "I've had short conversations with him in the past, and I thought this was the perfect time to talk to him some more and get some advice." "He felt comfortable getting in the paint.
He felt like he had extra protection, he had an extra layer," Booker relayed. "He said, 'Just don't worry about it. Don't take it off when you shoot free throws, and just don't let it be a distraction to you.'
" Clippers guard Patrick Beverley did an outstanding job on Booker in Game 3 and the Suns star gave him credit. "He's ultra aggressive," Booker said of Beverley. "He's denying, 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."