Frustrating fourth quarter, fouls derail Devin Booker, Suns

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MILWAUKEE (AP) — Devin Booker put on a spectacular shooting peformance through the first three quarters Wednesday night in the NBA Finals and seemed poised to help the Phoenix Suns take a commanding lead in the series.

Then things got all fouled up.

Booker, who scored 38 points in the first three quarters, picked up his fifth foul early in the fourth. Phoenix was holding a narrow lead and looking to go up 3-1 with Booker on the court, but his frustrating fourth-quarter performance enabled the Bucks to r ally for a 109-103 victory and tie the series at two games apiece. Game 6 is Saturday in Phoenix.

The tough finish spoiled an otherwise impressive effort for Booker, who is averaging 27.5 points in the finals. His 542 points in these playoffs are the most by any NBA player in his first career postseason.

He spent most of Wednesday night showing that his 10-point performance in a 120-100 Game 3 loss was an aberration. With Booker leading the way the Suns led 82-76 going into the fourth quarter. But he picked up his fifth foul with 10:50 remaining with the Suns leading 85-79.

Phoenix survived his absence and still lead 93-90 when he returned with 5:55 left. Once he got back on the floor, Booker was unable to regain the rhythm he had established through the first three quarters. He had only two field goals in the final period.

The Bucks rallied to take a 97-95 lead on a Pat Connaughton 3-pointer with 3:08 remaining.

Booker responded 16 seconds later with a pull-up jumper and the Suns regained the lead on a pair of Jae Crowder free throws. But after Khris Middleton tied it at 99-all, Booker missed a 16-footer with 1:42 left and Middleton responded once again to put the Bucks ahead for good.

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More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Steve Megargee, The Associated Press

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