The daily preview muscles into the paint with NBA Playoffs tips for Game 3 as Denver Nuggets desperately try to get on the board against the surging Phoenix Suns.
12:00 (AEST), Sat 12th Jun @ Ball Arena, Denver
History: Played 193: Suns 105 V Nuggets 88
Last meeting: June 10, 2021 (Game 2): Suns 123 d Nuggets 98 at Phoenix Suns Arena
Final Thoughts: Denver Nuggets head home for Game 3 of their semi-final series against Phoenix Suns with a 2-0 deficit staring back at them. A loss here would just about be curtains for Nikola Jokic and co.
The Suns powered away to a 122-105 victory in Game 1. The Nuggets led by one at halftime but were swamped in the remaining two terms. The ageless Chris Paul (21 pts, 6 reb, 11 ast) again led the way. He was magnificent in the fourth quarter, scoring or assisting in 20 of the Suns’ 34 points. Mikal Bridges hit four three-pointers on his way to a team-high 23 points, while Devin Booker (21 pts, 8 ast) and Deandre Ayton (20 pts, 10 reb) made typically impressive contributions.
NBA MVP Jokic was restricted to 22 points, 9 rebounds and 3 assists.
The Suns’ dominance at both ends of the floor was even more pronounced in Game 2, the hosts winning every quarter in a 123-98 blowout.
CP3 (17 pts, 15 ast) again mesmerised the Nuggets. Booker (18 pts, 10 reb) top-scored with a modest tally, one of seven Suns to hit double-figures. Ayton had 15 points and 10 rebounds.
Jokic (24 pts, 13 reb, 6 ast) was head and shoulders above his teammates. The Nuggets’ back-court is struggling: Austin Rivers and Facundo Campazzo scored just 9 points between them in Game 2. Meanwhile, Monte Morris – who was excellent against the Blazers in the First Round – has had almost no impact off the bench, shooting 2 from 17 from the floor in the two games in Phoenix. The previously in-form Michael Porter Jr’s contributions have also been comparatively modest.
Denver’s subpar three-point shooting (just 32 percent in Game 2) has also hampered their cause.
The Nuggets are slender $1.80 favourites at home, where they boast a 27-12 record this season. But the Suns are 26-13 on the road – including a pair of away wins over the Lakers during the First Round – and are hard to back against in their current mood.
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