The Suns struggled mightily on offense in Game 3 of their first-round series with the Lakers, falling behind 2-1 to the reigning champions.
Devin Booker, in particular, struggled in Game 3, shooting 6-for-19 from the field for 19 points in 41 minutes of action, unable to maintain his offensive consistency from the previous two games. As the game progressed and the Suns’ last-ditch effort fell short, frustration built in both Phoenix and Booker, who had a lengthy back-and-forth with Dennis Schröder that ended with Booker shoving Schröder to the ground with a little help from Jae Crowder.
Booker was dismissed for a Flagrant 2, and Crowder wasn’t far behind, as he was also dismissed for continuing to yell at the Lakers’ point guard. It was a dreadful end to a dreadful game for the Suns. Anthony Davis slammed Booker’s foul, calling it a “dirty play.”
Phoenix will need to recoup mentally and physically before Game 4 on Sunday in Los Angeles after they appeared unsettled for much of Game 3. Booker needs to reclaim his form from the first two games, and the Suns as a whole must figure out how to deal with the pressure and tenacity of the Lakers defense, or they risk being sent back to Phoenix a game away from elimination.