The Phoenix Suns got everything they could out of Cameron Payne in their season-ending 125-100 loss to the Denver Nuggets in Game 6 of the Western Conference semifinals.

But Payne, who had a playoff career-high 31 points on 12-of-16 shooting, said he could have emptied more from his tank if the team’s season continued.

“I just wish we was still playing to really show y’all I got a little bit more to me,” Cameron Payne said. 

Payne was thrust into an important role this series. He entered the starting lineup in the last four games after Chris Paul suffered a left groin strain in the Suns’ Game 2 loss.

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Payne, who has started for Paul and contributed in the past, had to find a rhythm quickly. It was not easy since he recovered from a lower back injury suffered late in the regular season and returned for the Suns’ Game 5 win over the Los Angeles Clippers in round one.

He told reporters it was “a little bit” difficult to find that groove.

“It was playoffs and it’s a lot more physical, things like that,” Payne said. “I was a little fatigued a couple of those games, it was like little short spurts. But [Paul] went out, so I had to play longer. So it’s just a little different for me. Wish I would have played a lot better, but I mean tonight, I played alright. It just took a couple games for me.”

Cameron Payne will enter the final season of his 3-year, $19 million contract he signed with the Suns at the end of the 2021 postseason.