Deprived of Chris Paul and back to the wall, were the Suns going to have the weapons to return to the series? With a Devin Booker at this level, it is possible.
Because the rear illuminated the part of his talent and started his show from the first quarter, which the Phoenix players started with the desire to play quickly. Opposite, to give him the reply, we find Jamal Murray.
The debates will be balanced for more than fifteen minutes before a first gap for the Suns, who are surfing on a 19-3, after a choppy start to the second quarter. Monty Williams’ troops took the lead at the break (67-52). But the Nuggets find color in the third quarter, with an 11-2, in particular because the 3-point shots fall into it.
Everything is to be redone for Phoenix, who manages to give themselves some air at the start of the last quarter with a 9-0. A small mattress in advance is made and will remain until the end, with the baskets of Devin Booker and Kevin Durant. Victory 121-114 for the Suns, who thus return to 2-1 in this series.
WHAT YOU MUST REMEMBER
– The stars or nothing in Phoenix. The Suns needed to find solutions on their bench to support the Booker – Durant duo. The essential is obviously assured with this victory, but the problems remain. The two stars carried their team with 86 points out of 121 (71%) and the rest of the players were certainly useful but discreet. Deandre Ayton does not weigh, Josh Okogie does not exist and it is necessary to relate to the good things of Cameron Payne or the baskets of TJ Warren at the end of the match to underline the contribution of the second knives.
– The 14-0 straddling the last two quarters. Phoenix had scored a first break in the second quarter, but he did not hold after the break. The Nuggets were even ahead one minute from the end of the third quarter. They cash a 5-0 to finish it, before a 9-0 to start the last act. A 14-0 in the form of an ideal boost to get started. Nikola Jokic and his band chased after this gap throughout the end of the game, never managing to pass in front, or even to equalize.
✅ Devin Booker. With 47 points at 20/25 to shoot, 9 assists and 6 rebounds, the back was immense. He launched his teammates in the first quarter with already 18 points, before being still present in the highlight of the Suns in the second act. Whenever Phoenix needed a basket, he was there. A match of scorer and leader.
✅ Jamal Murray. Less lethal than Devin Booker (13/29 to shoot), the playmaker was his main opponent in scoring with his 32 points. He took full advantage of Nikola Jokic’s excellent and numerous screens to give himself space and strike again and again. It was he who revived Denver in the third quarter before being a little short at the end of the game, no doubt tired by his efforts.
✅ Nikola Jokic. Sugar in coffee: everywhere and nowhere at the same time. He never burst the screen in the game, never being dominant but never absent either. His statistics sheet proves, however, that he was present, with another big performance: 30 points, 17 rebounds and 17 assists!
✅ ⛔ Kevin Durant. With 39 points, 9 rebounds and 8 assists, it would have been unfair to put him in the flops, but it would also be generous to consider that he totally succeeded in his game. He missed a lot of shots (12/31), still well blocked by Aaron Gordon, he forced a lot, before getting closer to the circle to get easier points and regain confidence in free throws. At the end of the game, the Suns winger made some important shots.
⛔ Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. Transparent and clumsy with two points at 1/4 shooting, the shooter is the only Denver holder to miss his appointment.
⛔ Deandre Ayton. Too indolent, he does not weigh against Nikola Jokic. Monty Williams even preferred to finish the meeting with Jock Landale on the field, and the Bahamian left the room without speaking to the press…
Game 4 is scheduled for Sunday evening (02:00 French time)
How to read the stats? Min = Minutes; Shots = Shots made / Shots attempted; 3pts = 3-points / 3-points attempted; LF = free throws made / free throws attempted; O = offensive rebound; D= defensive rebound; T = Total Bounces; Pd = assists; Fte: Personal fouls; Int = Intercepts; Bp = Lost bullets; Ct: Counters; +/- = Point differential when the player is on the field; Points = Points; Eval: player evaluation calculated from positive actions – negative actions.