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DALLAS — As usual, a member of the Suns media relations staff distributed copies of the official scorer’s report to the post-game press conference Friday night, including leaving a couple at the table in front for coach Monty Williams and players.

For them, it must have been like a teacher returning an assignment, only not with a big “F” on it, but a big “?”

As in, what was that we all just witnessed? 

The 103-94 loss to Dallas in Game 3 of the Western Conference semifinals produced a lot of questions, so let’s get to them.

How does a good team look that bad?

A loss was not unexpected. Maybe the Suns were due for one. They had won four consecutive playoff games, including the first two in this series against the Mavericks. Those were in Phoenix, and the Mavericks were back home, trying to avoid a sweep in the best-of-seven series.

Losing was understandable. But not like how the Suns lost Friday. It was one of their worst performances all season.

The 94 points were a season low. They committed 17 turnovers and gave up eight offensive rebounds. Those two categories led to 38 points by the Mavericks, Williams said.

The Suns took just 76 shots and made only 44.7 percent of them. About 20 of those misses came around the basket, Williams said. It’s the first time the Suns shot under 50 percent in this postseason.

“We just couldn’t put it together tonight,” he said. “We played in sections, it felt like.”

It looked that way, too. Very small sections.

Just how bad did the offense look?

At one point, I wrote in my notes: “If Jae Crowder goes cold, where will the Suns find their offense?”

That’s how bad.

Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) is pressured by Dallas Mavericks guard Frank Ntilikina (21) during Game 3.

Guess we know now that Chris Paul is human, huh?

Yes, we do. His best move of the night was was arriving at the game wearing black leather pants with large pockets on the sides. Not many men can pull that off on their 37th birthday. Most of them would just be happy that cargo pants were making a comeback.

Otherwise, Paul turned in one of the worst playoff performances of his career. He committed seven turnovers, all in the first half, one shy of his career playoff high.





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