Postgame schadenfreude, Valley of the Setting Sun edition

The Arizona Republic:

The Phoenix Suns built an early lead, and then unraveled. The Milwaukee Bucks snatched a Game 5 road win, 123-119, to take a 3-2 lead on Saturday. Trailing 16 points after the first quarter, the Bucks overcame the deficit and continued to build on their own lead. It started in the second quarter.

“Well, both second and third,” Suns coach Monty Williams said. “You give up 79 points. And the reasoning behind it, I gotta look at the film to see, but we just didn’t have the same energy that we had in the first and fourth, when you look at the numbers.”

In those two quarters, the Bucks scored 79 points. And they did it shooting 32-of-45, including 10-of-17 from 3.

“It just put us in a hole,” Williams said. “I felt like we were playing from behind for a long, long time.”

Still, guard Chris Paul didn’t want to fully boil it down to that stretch. At least, not until he could delve into it more.

“It’s a 48-minute game,” Paul said. “I’ll go back and look at it and see, but we gotta play the way we started off the game. We gotta put a full game together like that.”

In the third quarter, the Bucks eventually built a double-digit lead, but not until after a more evenly-matched stretch.

“We were trading basket for basket for I think five minutes straight,” Suns guard Devin Booker said. “We’re at our best when we get stops and get out in transition. So that’s what we hang [our hats on] on defense, and we just have to be better.”

In the second quarter, the Bucks shot 70.8%, while the Suns shot 35.7%. Booker played just 6:14 in the second quarter. Williams wouldn’t dabble in re-thinking that decision in hindsight.

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