AP Photo/Matt York
The Phoenix Suns aren’t jubilant with just having doing away with the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers.
Phoenix picked up where it left off with a 122-105 victory over the Denver Nuggets in Monday’s Game 1 of their 2d-round playoff sequence at Phoenix Suns Enviornment. Chris Paul, Mikal Bridges, Deandre Ayton and Devin Booker led the components for the home group, which looked grand greater than it did whereas losing two of three to the Nuggets in the usual season.
A sturdy exhibiting by Nikola Jokic wasn’t enough for Denver to eradicate home-court docket profit.
Significant Player Stats
- Chris Paul, G, PHO: 21 PTS, 11 AST, 6 REB
- Mikal Bridges, F, PHO: 23 PTS, 5 REB, 5 AST, 2 STL
- Devin Booker, G, PHO: 21 PTS, 8 AST, 4 REB
- Deandre Ayton, C, PHO: 20 PTS, 10 REB
- Nikola Jokic, C, DEN: 22 PTS, 9 REB, 3 AST, 3 BLK, 2 STL
- Aaron Gordon, F, DEN: 18 PTS, 4 REB, 3 STL, 2 AST
Balanced Assault, third-Quarter Flee Energy Suns to Personal
Paul is the former leader of the Suns, nonetheless Booker was below the highlight coming into this sequence.
At least, he took the subsequent step in his ascension to superstardom with 47 components in the closeout pick over the Lakers and figures to be Phoenix’s inch-to likelihood in opposition to Denver. Throw in Austin Rivers, who is new off chasing Damian Lillard round in the first round, guarding Booker, and the capturing guard was an even bigger storyline.
Booker was aggressive from the originate in a support-and-forth first half, and, whereas that resulted in a pair turnovers, it moreover created a collection of scoring chances for both himself and his teammates.
Paul moreover did his part as a inch-first playmaker to set up the offense rolling, and Ayton held his hang inside of in opposition to Jokic. Throw in outside capturing from Bridges and Torrey Craig, and the Suns looked ready to match the Nuggets punch for punch in a sequence certain to be stuffed with momentum swings.
And what a swing it was in the third quarter.
Phoenix seized administration of the game with a 16-0 spurt after it fell on the support of by nine thanks in huge part to the shining play of Bridges. He sank a 3, filled the lane in transition and assisted on an Ayton basket to give his group the lead. The group was in a frenzy by the level Booker hit an and-1 three-pointer.
The Suns then grew to become to the equivalent of a lockdown closer in baseball with Paul taking up and controlling the game in the fourth. He hit two mid-range jumpers, an and-1 and a 3 on four straight possessions to create bigger the lead to 16 and continued meting out assists as all five starters scored in double figures.
It was a masterclass of a 2d half by a bunch that appears to be like in a position to advancing to the Western Convention Finals or previous.
Nuggets Plunge Aside in 2nd Half of
Every Nuggets sport for the relaxation of the playoffs will largely be determined by whether they can create up for the inability of the injured Jamal Murray, and the set to originate will nearly all the time be the likely MVP of the league.
Jokic looked as much as the job of carrying his squad out of the gate Monday, showcasing an array of moves on the blocks and regain in touch with on his outside shot. He didn’t just spearhead the Nuggets’ 58-57 halftime lead, even supposing, as Michael Porter Jr. chanced on his stroke from deep and Facundo Campazzo did a shrimp bit of the whole thing.
The level guard is surely some of the backcourt gamers tasked with both producing moderately than Murray and preserving up with the Paul-Booker tandem, and he hit from deep, battled for boards and set up his teammates all whereas bothering ball-handlers on the defensive aspect.
Even with that hasty originate and Jokic’s stuffing the stat sheet, even supposing, the Nuggets fell apart in the 2d half.
Monte Morris took a collection of ill-rapid images, and the Suns perceived to emphasise putting off Jokic’s passing lanes. Even supposing he got his components, the most steadily gentle offense plug by the gargantuan man from the elbow wasn’t there as Phoenix seized administration of the game.
It was certain how grand Denver misses Murray as things slipped away, and 47 components in the 2d half is never going to be enough in opposition to the red-sizzling Suns.
Game 2 is determined for 9: 30 p.m. ET Wednesday in Phoenix.