The Phoenix Suns will host the Denver Nuggets in Game 2 of their Western Conference semi-finals tonight. The Suns lead the series 1-0 after winning the series opener 122-105 as a five-point favorite. The Nuggets actually held a one-point halftime lead, but the Suns outscored the Nuggets 65-47 in the second half to get the convincing win. Phoenix shot 54.1% (46-85) from the floor and 38.2% (13-34) from three-point range in the win. The Suns got a balanced scoring attack with four starters reaching at least 20 points in the victory. The Suns also shot 85% (17-20) from the free-throw line.
Denver shot 46.7%(43-92) from the floor and 35% (14-40) from three-point range in the loss. What stands out the most was that the Nuggets only attempted six free throws the entire game, and made five. NBA MVP Nikola Jokic led the team with 22 points and nine boards in a losing cause.
The Nuggets took two out of three games from the Suns both straight up and against the spread during the regular season.
Can the MVP help Denver even the series?After losing on Monday, the Nuggets received good news on Tuesday when Nikola Jokic announced the 2021 NBA MVP. Jokic led the Nuggets with 26.4 points and 10.8 rebounds per game and led the NBA with a 31.36 Player Efficiency Rating on the season. "Joker" has also led the Nuggets in scoring in all seven playoff games so far and is averaging 31.4 points and 10.3 rebounds per game.
BREAKING - Denver Nuggets star Nikola Jokic has won the 2020-21 NBA MVP award, sources tell @ShamsCharania.— The Athletic (@TheAthletic) June 8, 2021
From the Serbian League and the 41st pick, Jokic has become the lowest draft pick in NBA history to win MVP. pic.twitter.com/rRCkzwoCf9
Denver is averaging 118.6 points per game in the playoffs and shooting 47.1% from the field as a team. The Nuggets have allowed 119.9 ppg on the defensive end, and opponents shot 48.5% from the field. The Nuggets have won four of their seven playoff games so far, but each loss has come by at least 14 points or more.
Booker and Paul lead the SunsThe Phoenix Suns made a key acquisition in the off-season, trading for Chris Paul, and the team is now a contender for the NBA title. Paul has provided valuable veteran leadership and strong play. Paul has averaged 16.4 points and 8.9 assists per game during the regular season and averages 10.9 ppg and 8.1 assists in the playoffs. Devin Booker has displayed his skills on the big stage, leading the team with 28.4 ppg in the playoffs, up from his 25.6 ppg, which was 13th in the NBA during the regular season.
The Suns have been strong defensively, holding opponents to a playoff best 98.6 ppg and 42.2% shooting from the field. Offensively the Suns are 12th in the playoffs averaging 106.6 ppg and shooting 47%
- None available