*THE SUNS TOOK ADVANTAGE OF HAVING LAST WEEK OFF: The Suns were the aggressors nearly the entire game and the stats verified that assessment with a +14 rebounding advantage, +8 points in the paint and +7 in fast break points.
*THE SUNS DEFENDED ANTHONY DAVIS MUCH DIFFERENTLY: Davis scored 42 points in his one regular-season game against the Suns on May 9th, a night that included few double teams. The Suns plan on Sunday was somewhat different with Deandre Ayton checking Davis far more frequently and the Suns fronting more often when Davis began half court sets on the low post.
*DEVIN BOOKER RESEMBLED A POST-SEASON VETERAN: His 34 points were the most by any Sun ever in his first playoff game, plus he added eight assists and seven rebounds in addition to handle more of the ball-handling duties after Chris Paul’s first-half injury.
*DEANDRE AYTON WAS THE BEST BIG MAN ON THE FLOOR: In his first playoff game, he scored 21 points and collected 16 rebounds (eight on each end). He was a Suns best +16 and played 37 minutes. Davis finished with 13 points and seven rebounds.
*CHRIS PAUL WAS PHYSICALLY LIMITED: After the game, he said he heard a crack in his shoulder when colliding with teammate Cam Johnson in the second quarter. After two trips to the locker room, Paul did finish the game, but struggled handing the ball and made just one field goal after the injury.
*THE ANNOUNCED CROWD OF 11,000 WAS HEARD: Nearly everyone meeting the media after the game mentioned the fan noise, some before they were asked. As usual, several thousand in attendance in downtown Phoenix were cheering for the defending champions.