Devin Booker and the Phoenix Suns spoiled Nikola Jokic’s MVP celebration in Game 3 with a 116–102 win over Denver on Friday night, putting “The Joker” and the rest of the Reeling Nuggets on the verge of a second-round exit. done.
DENVER – Devin Booker and the Phoenix Suns spoiled Nikola Jokic’s MVP celebration in Game 3 with a 116-102 win over Denver on Friday night, which saw “The Joker” and the rest of the reeling Nuggets on the verge of a quick second round. erected. Go out.
Booker scored 28 points and teamed up with Chris Paul to lead a relentlessly offensive attack that countered Jokic’s triple-double of 32 points, 20 rebounds and 10 assists.
With their sixth straight win, second-seeded Suns took a best-of-seven series lead 3–0. Game 4 is Sunday at the Ball Arena.
Paul had 27 points, eight assists and three steals for the Suns, who retreated after halftime for the third time in a row. All five Phoenix starts scored in double digits.
They are one win away from their first trip to the Western Conference Finals since 2009–10—the last time the Phoenix made the playoffs.
Monte Morris scored 21 runs on the bench for Denver.
The third-seeded Nuggets, who reached the conference finals last year, are on the verge of drifting into the playoff series for the first time since the Lakers knocked them out in the first round in 2007–08.
Jokic dedicated his MVP award to his teammates during a raucous pregame ceremony, leaving coach Michael Malone hoping his team lost by 17, 25 and now 14 points.
The Nuggets First MVP was mostly early MIA as the Suns jumped 74.46 percent to lead 37-27 after a quarter. Jokic scored seven points in that quarter but none until the 4:45 mark. He also missed two out of three free throws.
Malone, who accused his team of quitting after a loss in Game 2, said prior to the tip-off that he liked his team’s flexibility.
“I don’t know if I’ve ever been around a better team that can get off the mat, find a way to get back in the fight and win the fight,” Malone said of his team. Bubble reduction last year.
He said all Phoenix did was sweep the first two games in the desert and hold serve. “So, now we have to return the favor,” Malone said, “and make it a series.”
They couldn’t, and now the Sun can sweep them right outside the postseason.
The Sons: The Phoenix took a double-digit lead in the first half but cooled off in the final 90 seconds of the second quarter, allowing the Nuggets to draw 59-55 at halftime. … The Sons made 50% of their shots in the first half, both from outside the arc and off the ground, and they made all 11 of their free throws.
Nuggets: The Nuggets lost their first seven shots after halftime, closing for 6-0 and snatching the momentum taken at the break. … had another tough time for Michael Porter Jr., who patted his back at the start of the series, scoring 5 for 13 for 15 points from the floor. Will Barton added 14 runs in his second game after suffering a hamstring injury.
Denver Broncos tight end Noah Fant, guard Dalton Risner and kicker Brandon McManus were among the biggest crowd at the ball arena since the pandemic began, not to mention the other two when they were shown on the big screen. But in the second half, the cameras came back to him and he did the show by chugging a couple of beers to cheers.
More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports