The Phoenix Suns added yet another entry into their improbable postseason run, defeating the Denver Nuggets 125-118 in Game 2 of the Western Conference Semifinals. The top-seeded Jazz and now the Nuggets have failed to keep up with the Suns, who have been riding the momentum of their incredible regular-season run since arriving in the playoffs.
All-Star guard Devin Booker led the way for Phoenix with a dominant performance, scoring 18 of his game-high 31 points in the third quarter. Booker was backed up by Chris Paul, who finished with 23 points and eight assists, and Deandre Ayton, who added 15 points and 10 rebounds.
Denver rallied from a 15-point deficit late in the fourth quarter, but the Suns’ stars were too much for them to handle. Michael Porter Jr. had a game-high 11 rebounds and 20 points for the Nuggets, but it wasn’t enough to stop the surging Suns.
The Suns are now just two wins away from their first Western Conference Finals appearance since 2010, and with their hot shooting and suffocating defense, they look more than capable of taking down any opponent. The young team has been riding the momentum of their incredible regular season run, and with each postseason win, they’re building more confidence in their ability to compete at the highest level.
The only concern for Phoenix is that Chris Paul appeared to suffer an injury in the late stages of the game. The point guard had an apparent shoulder issue, and while he did return to the game, it remains to be seen how this may impact his play as they head deeper.
For the Denver Nuggets, this loss is yet another setback, and they will have their work cut out for them if they want to climb back into the series. The team will need to play much better defense if they want to contain the Suns’ deadly shooters, and they also need more production from Nikola Jokic, who was quiet in Game 2, scoring just 24 points.
Finally, though they have rallied from series deficits before, the Nuggets’ task becomes more difficult when considering that they must face the Suns, who have looked nothing short of spectacular since the start of the playoffs. However, the Nuggets remain a talented squad, and with Porter Jr., Jokic, and their role players firing on all cylinders, they still have a fighting chance. Game 3 will be a pivotal moment for both teams, as the Suns look to take a commanding 3-0 series lead, while the Nuggets attempt to regain a foothold and make this series competitive.