DALLAS — Devin Booker has never played in a Game 7, but watched his share growing up as a kid with one he’ll never forget.
2013 NBA Finals.
“A whole different beast I could imagine,” said Booker as LeBron James led Miami past San Antonio to win the second of back-to-back NBA championships.
Now the Suns’ three-time All-Star is set to play in his first Game 7 Sunday after losing Thursday’s Game 6 in Dallas, 113-86, at American Airlines Center.
“It’s exciting,” Booker said. “It’s Game 7. I’ve never been in a Game 7. It’s going to be fun.”
Booker and the top-seeded Suns would’ve rather dropped the fourth-seeded Mavs in Game 6 to punch their ticket to the Western Conference finals — or fulfill those ‘Suns in 4!” chants at Footprint Center in Game 2.
Game 6 recap: Mavericks rock Suns, forcing decisive Game 7 in Phoenix
“I’d rather (have) swept them,” said a laughing Booker, much to the amusement of the media.
Phoenix could be relaxing back home awaiting the Grizzlies-Warriors winner.
Second-seeded Memphis plays Friday at third-seeded Golden State down 3-2.
The Suns are instead facing elimination themselves.
Rewind: Suns overwhelmed by Mavericks in Game 6 loss
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“It’s win or go home,” said Suns All-Star Chris Paul, who has played in seven Game 7s in his career, going 3-4 in those games. “I feel like we worked as hard as we did all season to get homecourt. Just because you have homecourt doesn’t guarantee you’re going to win the game, but we’d rather play at home than play here.”
The Suns have Game 7 in Phoenix where they’ve won four straight postseason games with the latter three coming against the Mavericks.
They blasted Dallas by 30 on Tuesday at Footprint Center.
And they’re going to have two days in between games for the first time in this series.
“We’ll take the extra day, trust me,” said Paul, who was holding his right hand during the game, but said he’s good. “The other series got like three days. Trust me, we’ll take the extra day.”
However, the Mavericks just ran through them Thursday by scoring 29 points off 22 Phoenix turnovers, shooting 16-of-39 from 3 and limiting the Suns to just 86 points on 39.7% shooting.
“There were a lot of mistakes,” Suns center Deandre Ayton said. “Felt like a regular season game with the amount of mistakes we had today. The turnovers. Terrible. Unacceptable. It was that type of game where it’s just unacceptable. Those dudes wanted it more.”
Now Phoenix faces a Game 7.
“This could be the last game and the only time I had that feeling was last year in the finals and we’re going to have to accept it and embrace that there’s a Game 7 in Phoenix and we’re going to have to bring it ,” Ayton said. “There’s no room for mistakes in this one at all.”
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Win or have their historic season end prematurely without returning to the finals and finishing what they started last season.
“We just did not have the focus and determination that it takes to win a game like this on the road, but we will have it the next time we step on the floor,” Suns coach Monty Williams said.
Have opinion about current state of the Suns? Reach Suns Insider Duane Rankin at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact him at 480-787-1240. Follow him on Twitter at @DuaneRankin.
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