PHOENIX — The Phoenix Suns have dropped two straight games to Milwaukee as the Bucks have tied the NBA Finals series up 2-2. It's the first time the Suns have lost two straight in the playoffs since the first round against the Lakers.
Phoenix held a slim lead for most of Game 4, but the Bucks capitalized late, coming up with huge defensive stops in the closing minutes to take the win.
In the back-to-back losses for the Suns, Chris Paul uncharacteristically had nine turnovers. The Suns had 17 turnovers as a team in Game 4 to Milwaukee's five.
So how can Phoenix bounce back on their home floor in Game 5 on Saturday?
Locked On Suns host Brendon Kleen joined the Locked On Today podcast to talk about what needs to happen for the Suns in Game 5.
"People might underestimate the Suns' blueprint to this point still," Kleen said on Locked On Today. "I think the reality is they just need to play the way they always have and I think they've gotten away from that a little bit."
Devin Booker exploded for 42 points, leading all scorers, but Kleen said the Suns won't be able to rely on a night like that in Game 5.
"It was a lot of jumpers, it was a lot of tough shot making, it wasn't easy by any means," Kleen said. "Chris Paul had an obviously difficult night. So if they can get more of that spread pick and roll, playing with pace, playing with tempo, moving the ball, cutting, all those things that a great Suns win tends to look like, I think we'll see them score closer to the 118 they had in Game 2."
Khris Middleton led the Bucks with 40 points in Game 4. While Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 26, compared to his 41 in Game 3, he was more of a playmaker with eight assists as well as three steals and two blocks.
"I think maybe a little bit of Jae Crowder (guarding) Khris Middleton, playing him with some physicality, just little adjustments here and there, I think (Middleton) has gotten comfortable and you need to fight that," Kleen said.
Kleen said to expect some wrinkles in the Suns on Saturday that you didn't see in Games 3 and 4. Chris Paul will also have to be much improved for the Suns to get back on top.
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Also on today's Locked On Today:
- The Yankees-Red Sox game postponed due to positive COVID-19 tests.
- Tom Brady played the 2020 season with a torn MCL.
- A judge ordered free-agent cornerback Richard Sherman be released from jail without bail Thursday following his arrest on suspicion of trying to break into his in-laws' home northeast of Seattle.
- Team USA is fighting a challenging scenario with COVID-19 as it tries to prepare for the Tokyo Olympics.
- The Atlanta Braves acquired outfielder Joc Pederson from the Chicago Cubs for minor league first baseman Bryce Ball.