Suns guard Cameron Payne spoke out after the team’s disappointing loss to the Nuggets in Game 6 of the Western Conference Semifinals. Despite an impressive performance from Payne with 31 points, the Suns lost the game 125-100 and were eliminated from the playoffs for the second straight year.
With star players Chris Paul and Deandre Ayton out due to injuries, the Suns struggled to find their footing throughout the game. Even Devin Booker, who had been averaging 35.9 points per game in this year’s playoffs, had an off night with just 12 points on 4/13 field goals. Suns head coach Monty Williams revealed after the game that Booker was playing through soreness.
The loss was especially hard for Payne, who had stepped up big time for the team in Game 6. “It hurt big time,” he said in the post-game interview. “Especially with our team, it just hurt. And in front of the fans, like, that’s just not us, especially last year’s [elimination], we kind of did the same thing. This is not a good feeling. I just wish it would have been at least closer. At least. Of course, I want to win, but this just doesn’t look good.”
The Suns’ elimination from the playoffs marks the second straight year they have been eliminated in the Western Conference Semifinals. Last year, they were crushed by the Dallas Mavericks in Game 6, losing 123-90. While the team had high hopes for this year’s playoffs, injuries and off nights from key players ultimately proved to be their downfall.