Suns crush Nuggets in Game 2 for 2-0 NBA playoff lead
Posted On June 10, 2021
PHOENIX – Denver Nuggets coach Michael Malone and forward Aaron Gordon said they played smoothly in their Game 1 loss.
They talked about responding. Be more physical. More aggressive.
Then Game 2 started and the only thing that changed was that the Phoenix Suns didn’t wait until the third quarter to take control.
The Suns led for everything but the first 30 seconds of Wednesday’s 123-98 win in front of a busy and energetic sold-out crowd of 16,529 at the Phoenix Suns Arena taking a 2-0 lead in this semifinal series. best of 7 conference.
“We’re just trying to play the right way for each other,” said Sun coach Monty Williams. “We try to play hard every night. That’s what we are. It’s our DNA. Our guys share the ball. I think what’s really cool to watch is the guys playing for each other. Others. It’s playoff basketball and that’s how we have to play to be successful. “
Leading by no less than 31, the Suns will look for a 3-0 streak in Friday’s Game 3 in Denver. They looked so convincing in the win on Wednesday that their fans chanted “Suns in 4, Suns in 4!” in the fourth quarter.
“It’s hard to express,” Booker said of the fans’ reactions. “Even Deandre (Ayton) comes to me and says, ‘Dude, we saw him when we were,’ and I tell him every time, ‘I saw him before you were here too. “”
This song sounded more like a premonition to Malone.
“It was just an embarrassing performance for me until the last player,” said Malone. “We come out of here with our heads down, rightly so. There’s a reason their crowd is yelling ‘Suns in 4’ and they’re calling for a sweep because if we play like that in Denver it’s going to be a series. really fast.
The Suns won Game 2 with all five starters scoring in double digits for a second straight game as Devin Booker had a high of 18 points while Chris Paul recorded 17 points, 15 no-turnaround assists and five rebounds.
NBA MVP Nikola Jokic paced Denver with 24 points as he gave the Nuggets a 2-0 lead to open the game.
It was all suns after that.
As the Nuggets started 0-for-9 from 3 points, with Michael Porter Jr. going 0-for-6 in the first half, Phoenix built a 10-point halftime lead with Dario Saric. providing an eight point spark on the bench.
When the third quarter came around this time, Phoenix just kept pouring it over the nuggets.
From Booker hitting jumpers to Jae Crowder making plays and Paul breaking up the Denver defense, the Suns made the crowd roar louder and louder and the Nuggets are increasingly aware they had no response Wednesday night. .
“I saw a team that wanted to be here and play with a purpose and an urgency and a team that didn’t want to be here and play without an emergency and that’s why we got our ass kicked,” said Malone.
Then just like Game 1, Paul took over in the fourth by scoring eight points, scoring 2 of 2 of 3 as that injured right shoulder doesn’t look so injured anymore.
“I feel good, I feel really good,” said Paul. “I missed some easy things at first, but the way we play the ball is going to find you.”
Paul posted his third career playoff game with at least 15 points, 15 assists and zero turnovers. Only Magic Johnson and Jason Kidd did the same thing the two Hall of Fame members each did once in the playoffs.
“To be named with a guy like Magic is legendary,” Booker said as Paul passed Magic Johnson to take fifth on the NBA’s regular season assists list. “It’s forever. It’s bigger than basketball. It’s an icon.”
Denver will return home with Jokic to play ahead of what should be a lively atmosphere for Game 3. However, Phoenix showed in the first two games of the series that it was not the same lopsided clash in Denver’s favor.
The Nuggets were 6-1 in their last seven games against Phoenix before this series.
They are now down 0-2, not shooting the ball well for 3 and looking lost in defense trying to keep up with Phoenix’s ball movement, player movement in the half court and young legs in transition.
Phoenix shot 47.4% from 3 points, scored 44 points in the paint and 14 points in transition.
He reached a point where Saric, not known for backstroke passes, threw one into traffic towards a Johnson open cam for a 3 to give Phoenix a 109-78 lead with 6:05 left in the game. match.