Booker, Paul erupt as Suns torch Nuggets

Published June 12, 2021, 2:04 PM

by Agence-France-Presse

Devin Booker of the Phoenix Suns drives towards the hoop against Michael Porter Jr. of the Denver Nuggets in Game Three of the Western Conference second-round playoff series at Ball Arena on June 11, 2021 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)

Devin Booker scored 28 points and Chris Paul added 27 and eight assists as the Phoenix Suns seized a commanding 3-0 lead over the Denver Nuggets with a 116-102 victory.

“We are peaking at the right time. The regular season prepared us for these games,” Booker said.

Deandre Ayton had 10 points and 15 rebounds, Jae Crowder scored 14 and Mikal Bridges added 11 for Phoenix, who can sweep the best-of-seven series on Sunday in Denver.

“It is not going to be easy,” said Crowder of the possible close out game. “We expect their best, and we are going to give our best too.”

Phoenix now has a stranglehold lead in the best of seven series and are just one win from reaching the NBA semi-finals for the first time since the 2009-10 season.

Nikola Jokic, who received his MVP award before the game, had 32 points, 20 rebounds and 10 assists for the Nuggets but didn’t get a lot of help from his supporting cast. Monte Morris scored 21, Michael Porter had 15 and Will Barton added 14 in the loss.

The Suns never trailed after being down 3-2. Phoenix charged out to a 21-8 lead early and was up 37-27 after the first quarter. Denver scored the final six points of the half to trail just 59-55 at intermission.

Phoenix began the final quarter by scoring the first six points to lead by 20 with 10:17 left.

“It was a great crowd. These playoff games have a higher intensity, and they are more physical,” said Booker.

 
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