Devin Booker wont be suspended for Game 4, according to league sources – The Arizona Republic
Los Angeles Lakers guard Dennis Schroder chuckled when talking about how he thought the NBA would deal with Devin Booker’s flagrant 2 on him late in Game 3 under different circumstances.
“That wasn’t a basketball play,” Schroder said. “In the regular season, that’s probably a suspension as well.”
Booker got ejected late in Thursday’s 109-95 loss, but league sources have informed The Republic Booker won’t be suspended for Sunday’s Game 4 at STAPLES Center with the defending NBA champions up 2-1 over Phoenix in this best-of-7 first round series.
The Suns two-time All-Star guard shoved Schroder in back while Schroder was in the air on a drive with 35.4 seconds left in the game..
After review, Booker was called for a flagrant 2, which is defined by the NBA as “unnecessary and excessive contact committed by a player against an opponent” that carries an automatic ejection.
When asked about his source of frustration with Schroder at the end of the game, Booker said, “I mean, we’re losing the game. We want to win.”
After the game, Lakers All-Star big Anthony Davis called Booker’s shove “a dirty play” during his TNT postgame interview.
“Can’t happen,” Davis said. “… I know (Monty Williams is) not that type of coach. I know he’s probably going to say something to him. That just can’t happen. Hard fouls, things like that, playoff basketball, we accept those. But just to blatantly push a guy in the air with two hands. That’s unacceptable.”
Later in his Zoom media call, Davis acknowledged there was chatter between Jae Crowder, LeBron James, Deandre Ayton, Booker, Schroder and himself, but added that the trash talking shouldn’t have lead to Booker’s flagrant 2 foul.
“Me-Jae, Jae-Bron, Dennis-Book,” Davis said. “Ayton had some words, but that’s playoff basketball. Guys are going to chirp, guys are going to talk, but we can’t allow plays like that to happen, just to push a guy out the air. Two hands. Whether it was out of frustration or not, it’s a scary play. Luckily, Dennis is alright, but sometimes, it can end badly for a player. We don’t want the chirping to lead to something like that.”
Like Schroder, James said it wasn’t a “basketball play” by Booker.
“At the end of the day, we’re competing and doing everything to get in people’s heads and whatever, but that’s not a basketball play,” said Schroder, who posted his second consecutive 20-point game in the series with 20 in Game 3.
Further addressing the trash talking, Schroder made reference to how his mom raised him before sharing his rules of verbal engagement.
“At the end of the day, my mom raised me right,” Schroder said. “At the end of the day, when somebody talks to me first, I’m going to talk back and it don’t matter who it is. If somebody talks to me disrespectfully, I’m going to do the same thing so at the end of the day, we’re going to battle. Nobody is going to disrespect me. At the end of the day, I just talk back to somebody to get you sensitive, and he fouled me.”
After the foul, Schroder and Crowder, who bumped him from behind after Booker’s push, started jawing at each other, which led to Crowder being ejected.
“It’s chippy, it’s the playoffs, but it’s just Game 3,” Suns guard Cameron Payne said. “We’ve got to try our best to keep our poise, but I always got my brother’s back.”
Williams understands the emotions of the game, especially in the postseason, but said that can’t override the greater goal of winning.
“When we play well, teams are going to try to get under our skin and we have to be able to weather that,” he said after Game 3. “That doesn’t mean you’re a punk or a doormat, but we have to consistently try to stay in games and stay with our game plan. And it’s tough at times when you feel like you’re being fouled or somebody is doing something you don’t think is right, but we’ve shown when we can stay steady with our poise and emotions, we can weather that. Tonight, I didn’t think we did that well.”
Williams reiterated that point after Friday’s practice, saying the second-seeded Suns have to channel their energy in the game and “not the silliness that’s going on” like trash talking.
“Fouls that don’t go our way, there has to be a poise and Chris (Paul) was talking about we have to have an edge also,” Williams said. “I agree with him, but all of those things have to be done within the confines of the game. There are some things that are being said and done on the floor, probably both ways, that go outside of what basketball should be about. Way too much complaining, in my opinion, from both sides. We have to be focused on the game.”
Have opinion about current state of the Suns? Reach Suns Insider Duane Rankin at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact him at 480-787-1240. Follow him on Twitter at @DuaneRankin.