Deandre Ayton posted 18 points and nine rebounds but was hindered by foul trouble on Sunday as the Phoenix Suns fell to the Milwaukee Bucks 120-100 in Game 3 of the NBA Finals, which now stands at 2-1 in favor of Phoenix.
Ayton, who scored 12 of his points in the first quarter, appeared on track for a third straight Finals double-double when he picked up a third foul with under 10 seconds to go in the second quarter, then a fourth foul less than two minutes into the third quarter.
Ayton was subbed out with 10:25 remaining in the third quarter, at which point Phoenix was trailing 62-49. By the time he subbed back in at the start of the fourth quarter, Milwaukee had built a 98-76 lead.
Ayton didn’t stay in the game long, committing a shooting foul with 8:53 remaining. At that point Suns head coach Monty Williams rested his center for the remainder of the night.
Ayton finished the game with a minus-6 rating on 8-of-11 shooting.
Without the former Arizona star center on the floor for most of the second half, Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo exploded for 41 points and 13 rebounds.
Milwaukee desperately needed to win Sunday to avoid falling in a 3-0 series hole.
The Suns will try to prevent the Bucks from tying the series when the teams face off in Game 4, to be played in Milwaukee on Wednesday at 6 p.m. PT. The game will be televised on ABC.