Wednesday, October 4 2023

PHOENIX – After dropping the first two road games in Denver, the Phoenix Suns are back in the series.

The Suns defeated the Nuggets 121-114 Friday night to cut their series deficit to 2-1 in the best-of-seven Western Conference semifinal matchup.

Devin Booker was on fire for most of the game and lifted the Suns to a much-needed win. Booker had a game-high 47 points. He was in the zone all four quarters.

Nuggets guard Jamal Murray had a team-high 32 points, six rebounds and five assists in the loss. Nikola Jokic had 30 points, 17 rebounds and 17 assists.

Here are the takeaways from Game 3:

Devin Booker’s hot shooting carries Suns

Kevin Durant and Devin Booker combined for 86 points in the Suns' Game 2 win over the Nuggets.Kevin Durant and Devin Booker combined for 86 points in the Suns' Game 2 win over the Nuggets.

Kevin Durant and Devin Booker combined for 86 points in the Suns’ Game 2 win over the Nuggets.

It was the Booker show in downtown Phoenix.

Booker was on fire throughout the game. He had 27 points in the first half and went 12-for-15 from the floor. Booker found his spots and was money from midrange. The Nuggets defense couldn’t contain the sharpshooter at all.

The second half was a continuation of the first and he finished the game 20-for-25 from the field.

The Suns crowd chanted MVP as Booker hit his final free throws. His 47 points matched his playoff career-high.

Kevin Durant overcomes slow start, joins Booker show

Durant started the game a rough -for-7, but he slowly got into a groove by getting to the free throw line. Durant had a game-high 16 free-throw attempts.

Durant had 39 points in the victory.

Booker and Durant combined for 86 of Phoenix’s 121 points.

Suns role players log important minutes without Chris Paul

Suns coach Monty Williams went deeper into his bench with the Suns playing without point guard Chris Paul (left groin strain). Guard Cameron Payne replaced Paul in the starting lineup. Williams also used reserves T.J. Warren and Terrence Ross off the bench to give Phoenix a spark.

Payne had seven points. Warren and Ross combined for 12 points.

Nuggets rally in second half

The Nuggets rallied in the third quarter and came all the way back from 15 points down to take a one-point lead. Denver outscored Phoenix 36-23 in the third quarter. The Nuggets shot 57% from the floor.

The Suns clung to a 90-88 advantage entering the fourth.

Denver stayed within striking distance in the fourth quarter, but never quite got over the hump.

Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray finished with 62 combined points. Michael Porter Jr. contributed with 21.

Ineffective Deandre Ayton benched in fourth

The Suns big man had a forgettable performance. He missed a few easy shots around the basket and didn’t play with any authority. The Suns’ crowd even booed the center on occasion. He was eventually subbed out in the fourth quarter in favor of Jock Landale.

Ayton finished with a meager four points and nine rebounds in 26 minutes.

Follow USA TODAY Sports’ Tyler Dragon on Twitter @TheTylerDragon.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Suns get epic efforts from Devin Booker, Kevin Durant in Game 3 win

Source: Yahoo Sports


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