• The Pelicans tied their opening round series with the Suns in Game 2
  • Devin Booker sat the second half as he dealt with a hamstring issue
  • Suns head coach Monty Williams expresses the need to refocus going into Game 3

The eight-seeded New Orleans Pelicans pulled off a shocking victory over the heavily-favored Phoenix Suns to tie their playoff series at one game apiece, and head coach Monty Williams explained how they allowed it to materialize in the postgame presser.

“I thought it was just a lapse in KYP (know your personnel). There were a number of times where we didn’t get a hand up on a guy or we went under a screen on [CJ] McCollum down the stretch and he gets a three. [Jose] Alvarado had a couple where we just didn’t respect him enough to get our hands up,” said the frontrunner for this season’s Coach of the Year award.

Both teams got off to a hot start as they continued to trade baskets for much of the first half, but it was Devin Booker who almost single-handedly kept the Suns in the game after dropping a monstrous 31-point performance in the first quarter.

However, a hamstring issue had him ruled out for the rest of the game and Williams elaborated further on his situation.

“I think it happened on one play when he (Devin Booker) was trying to track down someone in transition and that’s where I think it happened. But other than that, we don’t have much else to say about it, but it is a hamstring issue,” Williams bluntly stated.

With Booker out of the game, the Suns' offense stagnated for seemingly long stretches of time as the Pelicans, led by Brandon Ingram and CJ McCollum’s combined 60-point outburst, took advantage.

For comparison, the Pelicans shot 17-of-30 from beyond the arc while the Suns only made 13 of their 35 attempts while also outrebounded 43 to 33.

Leak outs and the lack of energy on transition defense certainly killed any chances of the Suns clawing their way back into the game, and it was something that greatly frustrated their head coach.

“That was probably, for us, the worst we’ve ever looked since I’ve been here. For that to happen in a playoff game was a bit unsettling for everybody. Our guys have to understand that this team (New Orleans Pelicans) is going to play hard every possession and we saw it in the third quarter,” Williams added.

Williams also made sure to give Ingram his flowers as his 37-point outburst, whether wide open or with a hand in his face, in the absence of Booker was something that was unexpected from their end.

Going into Game 3, the biggest question for the Suns is whether they will have Booker back as he deals with his hamstring issue and Williams reiterated their need to refocus.

“No matter how you slice it, it’s 1-1 [on the series]. It’s a long series… We played without Chris [Paul] and Book (Devin Booker) before. If we have to play without Book, next man up. We’ve done that all year long.”

Game 3 is set for Friday, April 22 at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans at 9:30 PM ET.