June 22, 2021
Game 2: Postgame
Suns 104, Clippers 103
Q. What do you think of the look? How is the nose feeling, and what are you seeing looking into the camera? Secondarily, running that play, was that executed perfectly, and just the faith in Deandre to call that for him.
DEVIN BOOKER: Honestly I forgot the first question.
Q. Just your nose, how it's feeling.
DEVIN BOOKER: It feels better now. If we would have lost, I think it would hurt a little bit more. It's good. I'll go get some scans, get the mask ready.
The play, man, that's just execution at its finest. Took everybody - Jae passing it, Deandre setting his man up, Coach Monty believing in us to run that. It was a big play for us, and any time we can come out with a win in the playoffs, especially a close one like that, it's big for momentum.
Q. It seemed like in those last couple minutes you guys got a couple tough breaks, seemed like every call was going against you.
DEVIN BOOKER: Seemed like that, didn't it?
Q. But you guys never seemed that upset. What does that say about this team that you guys still managed to find a way to pull it out?
DEVIN BOOKER: I mean, that's just the name of this team. You can't change a call after it happens. You get one challenge. We used it early, you kind of have to deal with it. If you put your energy in the wrong place of trying to justify what happened two or three plays prior, you're letting your team down. It's a next-play mentality.
Q. With the lob, you were here for Tyson [Chandler], last one from that time. You said you thought Jae was crazy when he first did it in practice because you didn't know the rule. When you set the screen, you're in the position, did you think DA was good once you set it?
DEVIN BOOKER: Yeah, that was the only shot I could say, when Tyson ran it at first I think it was four or five years ago. I learned that rule and I think it's something that a lot of people don't know. Even talking to Rondo at half court after the game, he's like, ‘It don't count.’ I'm like, I've seen it, and I've seen this move before. It counts.
You know, it's an incredible play, incredible execution on all ends, but again, Jae Crowder made a tough pass.
Q. When the officials are reviewing the play, what was going through your mind while that's all taking place?
DEVIN BOOKER: I thought the game was over. But we just want to stay to composed. There was some extra "hoo-rah!" going on on the court, plays prior to, running to our crowd, First-Team All Defense and all that and the game wasn't over. So we just keep playing through. It's like I said, move on to the next play and on to the next game.
Q. Have you ever had a nose injury before? Have you broken your nose ever before? Do you think it's broken now? When you look in the mirror, how do you feel you look?
DEVIN BOOKER: I've never had a broken nose. I'm still pretty confident. I hadn't seen it until after the game, so I've got a couple shots in there, put stitches on the top. My first time seeing myself was after the game. They were telling me in the back that it wasn't broken. Just a little crooked. It's a little crooked, so we'll see.
Q. Monty talked about how setting the screen was the biggest sacrifice you could make for a play.
DEVIN BOOKER: Just understanding how teams are going to guard. I know they're not going to leave me, so any type of hit that I can get to make them change direction, get DA out into some free space, for a chance to go get it. But again, he had to set up his man for me to get a hit. I keep saying it, Jae Crowder's pass, that's a tough pass to make. It is. He did that, so that's pretty impressive.
Q. Were you watching it? Was it in slow motion?
CAMERON PAYNE: Yeah, when I seen it, I'm like, man, dunk it. But piggy-backing to what he was talking about, at the end of the game you couldn't get away with a lot of stuff. That was an unselfish play by him [Booker], that's big time. That's big time. He sacrificed, made a screen, somebody else scored. A lot of players won't do that in his position, so kudos to him. He's big time for that.
Q. How many stitches did you get?
DEVIN BOOKER: I think it's three, two or three up here.
Q. Cam, playoff career high for you. What was your mindset?
CAMERON PAYNE: Honestly just hold it down. It's kind of crazy, I'm just trying to hold it on until CP is back. If they need me scoring, I'm willing to do it. My only thing, there was no turnovers. That's the only thing, I'm trying to keep that same identity because I'm the point guard. I just tried to come out there, hold it down for C, play my game, just live with the results.
Q. Devin, you have physicality with playoff basketball. When you were talking to Rondo, what's the message?
DEVIN BOOKER: I was just saying, Go big blue. That's my Kentucky guy (laughter). That's all I was saying. Go big blue.
Q. And the physicality?
DEVIN BOOKER: That's for you guys to decide. They're an aggressive team. That's how they guard. All those guys, they're athletic. Watching the previous series against Dallas and Utah, switching everything and trying to turn teams over. But we're figuring it out and we try to stay aggressive, stay with what we do and whether it's basketball plays or not, we've got to move on to the next one.
Q. You know how CP talks to everybody. Have you been talking to him on the side at all?
CAMERON PAYNE: For sure, I'm talk to C every day. I'm trying to hold it down. Trust me, C is calling and I've probably got a missed call already. C is going to call, but that's what he do though. That's why he is who he is. He's in constant communication. A lot of people don't do that, especially in his position, a lot of people don't do that. It's communication at a high level, and that's big time for our team.
Q. Did you really believe that play could happen at the end?
DEVIN BOOKER: Yeah, I believe it could happen. I've seen it happen. I've seen it happen before. Just understand how they're going to guard it. I know they're not going to leave me. Yeah, I believe in it, 100 percent.
Q. Talk about the rise of Deandre Ayton.
DEVIN BOOKER: Man, it's after every game myself. Don't want to get ahead of myself but it's growth, just continuously through every game, from Game 1 of the Playoffs. I feel like he flipped a switch and he turned it on. He doesn't want to look back. He feels his confidence is there, and he understands how much of a force he is, and I think he's understanding his capabilities of being able to move, being able to guard, and at the same time set up a screen to get me in the right places. Tonight I seen it with his mid range, too, so he made all type of plays.
Q. Devin, on that Deandre Ayton theme, it's only fitting that today was the NBA Draft Lottery and how cool was it to see a guy you've seen grow up before our very eyes, come up with such a big play?
DEVIN BOOKER: Yeah, it was good, man. He's been working. We've seen the work behind the scenes. It makes it that much better when you see somebody like that be successful. He's been through some things in this league and he's just continued to get better, matured, and he's a dominant force on our team. We lean on him for a lot of things.
Q. You've set a million screens in your life, a million picks. In that particular situation, though, time, score, all of that, what are the mechanics of making sure you get your body into Zubac, that you don't push off so they can't call an offensive foul? What are you trying to concentrate on?
DEVIN BOOKER: Kind of like Cam said, it goes down to late-game situations, you can get away with a little bit more. I know if I'm just making change of direction or at least take a step under to get DA, the chance to get his feet together. I know my man wasn't going to leave me. So I just tried to get the angle underneath him to give him a clear lane to the rim.
Q. Have you ever screened for somebody on a game-winning basket before?
DEVIN BOOKER: I haven't thought about that. Not to my recent memory. If I wasn't slipping out of it to come to the ball -- I don't know, that might be a first.
Q. The offensive foul that they ended up reviewing, the ref didn't call a foul.
DEVIN BOOKER: Yeah, I've never seen it. I tried to get an explanation. I don't know.
Q. So when it went back and reviewed, and they showed it was an offensive foul what did you think?
DEVIN BOOKER: Well, I was more disappointed because we had a wide-open shot from the corner. Even if we got the ball back, you let them set their defense and they just made a miscommunication that would've resulted in an open shot.
So we all need to work. We all need to get better and take ownership in it. We miss an open shot, we miss something on our team, we come in and say, "my bad." We don't come back with 100 excuses, we just move on to the next one. That's all we're looking for out there is consistency and a fair chance to play. That's what we're doing.
To answer your question, I didn't understand it.
Q. How do you see the physicality? To what extent do you chalk it up to playoff basketball versus it being extra?
DEVIN BOOKER: I mean, that's on the refs to decide. I know we have a team that teams are trying to play tough defense, stuff like that, take me out. Cam Payne, he'll kill you, he'll go after it. He's not scared of the moment, he's not scared to go make a pay.
There's a lot of denying, picking up full court, I feel like that opens up opportunities in space for other people to get it going, and that's what we've been banking on all season is that we're a complete team. With depth we're getting off plays that haven't got a chance to get in the Playoffs. But we get after it every day as a team, and we don't care who gets a shot, all we care about is getting the win.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports