Chris Paul Dominant as Suns Sweep Nuggets, Qualifies for Western Conference Finals

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Chris Paul Dominant as Suns Sweep Nuggets, Qualifies for Western Conference Finals


AP Photo/David Zalubowski

The Phoenix Suns are heading to the Western Conference Finals for the first time since the 2009-10 season.

Phoenix completed their second-round sweep against the Denver Nuggets with a 125-118 win in Sunday’s Game 4 at Ball Arena. Chris Paul and Devin Booker paved the way for the Scorching Suns, who have now won seven straight games since falling 2-1 to the Los Angeles Lakers in the first round.

Strong performances from Nikola Jokic, Michael Porter Jr. and Will Barton were not enough for the Nuggets, who were never able to overcome the loss of Jamal Murray in this series.

It also didn’t help that Jokic was sent off for a flagrant 2 third quarter foul for winding up and hitting Cameron Payne in the face while going for the ball. It undermined Denver’s late return efforts, which ran out of steam without the MVP on the court.


Notable player statistics

  • Chris Paul, G, PHO: 37 PTS, 7 AST, 3 REB, 2 STL, 14 sur 19 FG
  • Devin Booker, G, PHO : 34 PTS, 11 REB, 4 AST
  • Nikola Jokic, C, DEN: 22 PTS, 11 REB, 4 AST
  • Will Barton, F, DEN : 25 PTS, 5 REB, 2 AST, 2 STL
  • Michael Porter Jr., F, DEN: 20 PTS, 4 REB, 3 STL

CP3 Shining as the suns finish sweeping

While the Suns didn’t advertise themselves as serious title contenders when they knocked out the defending champions in the first round, they certainly did in the first three games of this series.

After all, the five starters each averaged at least 15 points per night, according to the TNT broadcast, with Paul spearheading as a distributor and then the option of choice with in-game games. was more or less the same on Sunday with the future Hall of Fame handing out assists and hitting their patented midrange shots and everyone doing their part.

Booker’s game was an unstoppable scorer as he had 21 points at halftime thanks to his ability to reach the line and strike from the outside.

Cameron Johnson and Jae Crowder also had several triples in the first half, while the latter was dominant on the defensive end with blocked shots and impressive rebounds. The result was an eight-point halftime lead and a golden opportunity to quickly shut down Denver and start focusing on the Western Conference Finals.

The Suns were probably going to finish off the Nuggets no matter how well they played, but the task apparently got a lot easier when Jokic got kicked out. Booker went chest to chest with the big man after his serious foul on Payne, and the visitors immediately responded with a push to push the double-digit lead into the fourth quarter.

Paul put on the show during that third quarter with an array of midrange jumpers and dictated the tempo even when Denver ran without Jokic. His presence drew defenders to open cutting lanes for Booker and Mikal Bridges as the Suns continued to keep the home team at bay despite the energy of the crowd.

CP3 continued to come out on top whenever the Suns needed a game with one-ons, steal and layup in transition, and a midrange jumper to freeze him out on closing time. He was unstoppable and is now one streak away from his first career NBA Finals appearance.


Denver’s comeback fails without the ejected Jokic

It was never more evident that the league MVP needed help in this series than in Game 3 when the Nuggets lost by 14, even though Jokic recorded a dominant 32-point triple-double, 20 rebounds and 10 assists.

Head coach Michael Malone tried to find help on Sunday by inserting Barton and Monte Morris into the starting lineup.

It worked during stretches, as Morris scored nine points in the first quarter, and Facundo Campazzo was able to provide a spark off the bench with his defense and outside shots. Add Jokic posting a double-double at halftime as he controlled the boards and demonstrated a soft touch in the lane, and Denver thought he was on his feet at intermission.

Instead, he was still lagging behind due to an inability to secure timely defensive saves.

It’s hard to replicate the desperation of playing his season at home, and Barton showed a lot with just 10 points in the third quarter with several threes and games in transition. His burst closed the gap, but much of the progress came to a halt when Jokic was kicked out and the deficit went into double digits before the fourth.

To Denver’s credit, it would have been easy to fall back and start considering next season without Jokic. However, JaVale McGee was an instant source of energy on the boards and in the painting, Campazzo continued to harass the Phoenix ball handlers, and Porter and Barton continued to seek their punches.

It was an admirable effort as the cast returned to create some late-night drama, but they ended up running out of energy and had no option of choice to counter Paul’s outburst on the home stretch.


And after?

Phoenix is ​​heading to the Western Conference Finals, where he awaits the series winner between the Utah Jazz and the Los Angeles Clippers.



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