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Devin Booker compares Game 1 loss to Timberwolves to last year’s first-round series vs. Clippers

A lot of overreactions can be made after Game 1 of a series based on how a team plays. That is exactly the predicament the Suns find themselves after a 120-95 blowout loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves in Game 1 on Saturday.

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“I can think back to the same situation last year,” Booker said. “I’m not saying we’re gonna win the next four games, but there was a lot of overreacting after we lost Game 1 to the Clippers. It’s just a series, so understanding that, understanding that every road team had a tough Game 1 in the playoffs so far this year, so we’ll see how Game 2 goes.”

Road teams are 0-8 so far in the playoffs this year. The Suns defeated the Clippers 4-1 in the first round last year after losing Game 1 115-110. However, L.A. was without Paul George due to injury the whole series and without Kawhi Leonard for Games 3-5.

“I think that’s the beauty of the playoffs,” Booker said to his prior point. “I think that’s why everybody loves it, you see the same team over and over. It’s adjustments versus adjustments, but at the end of the day, you just have to go out there and play. It’s a rollercoaster of emotions for everybody, the fans of each team. I always say you win one game, you’re gonna sweep the team, and you lose one game, you’re gonna get swept, that’s how everybody feels. I mean that’s the beauty of our sport, that’s why we all love this time of year.”

This Clippers’ series was the only time the Suns have come back from a Game 1 loss in the three prior years Booker has been in the playoffs. However, the only other time throughout these three years they faced an 0-1 deficit was the second-round series they lost last season to the Denver Nuggets.

The Suns have blown 2-0 leads twice during Booker’s tenure: the 2022 Round 2 series against the Dallas Mavericks and the 2021 NBA Finals against the Milwaukee Bucks.

“I haven’t won a ring yet, that’s the ultimate goal,” Booker said last week during practice before Game 1. “Obviously, you have some moments. Two games short of the goal. Being that close with with a lot of career left, gives me something to fight for and strive for.“

Booker had 26 points in Game 1 last year against the Clippers, and then followed that up with performances of 38 points, 45 points, 30 points and 47 points the remaining four games of the series. He went on to have a historical run in the postseason.

In comparison, Booker had 18 points in Game 1 on Saturday, but only shot 5-of-16 from the floor.

“If I’m not making shots, and my teammates are, I’m not I’m not opposed to that either.” Booker said. “Games don’t go as noticed that if we win the game, and I have a 5-for-15 or 5-for-16 (night). It’s not my job out there to just make sure I have an efficient, great night. I’m trying to do everything on the floor to win the game.”

Booker and the Suns will look to rebound in Game 2 tomorrow night against Minnesota at 4:30 p.m. MST at Target Center.

“I’m hungry to win the game,” Booker said. “That’s all we’re trying to do at this point of the season.”

Suns still have utmost trust in Devin Booker after poor Game 1 performance

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Brendan Mau is a senior writer covering the Phoenix Suns and more for Burn City Sports. You can follow him on X via @Brendan_Mau

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