Friday, September 22 2023

Give the Suns credit, at least they were in this one; except that’s a moral victory, and those don’t count this time of year.

Denver did what a No. 1 seed is supposed to do in winning their home games to take a 2-0 lead in their best-of-seven Western Conference semifinal series.

But the Suns blew a golden opportunity to light up the Nuggets and return home with momentum. Phoenix entered the fourth quarter with a 73-70 lead, thanks to stifling defense on Denver’s best scorers. The fourth quarter, however, was a housebuilder’s dream with the Suns putting up one brick after another. Phoenix scored just 14 points in the final period on its way to a 97-87 loss.

The game was still close with about 4 minutes to play, but Phoenix just couldn’t execute offensively.

Devin Booker missed a straight-away 3-pointer.

Rewind: Nuggets take 2-0 lead over Suns in NBA playoffs semifinals


Kevin Durant tried to shoot over a double team but got blocked.

And Josh Okogie had a wide-open opportunity at point-blank range, but he didn’t even shoot the ball.

Meanwhile, Denver got huge contributions from Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who scored 14 points on 5-of-6 shooting, including two fourth-quarter 3-pointers that helped the Nuggets bury the Suns.

There was a massive free-throw disparity, but don’t blame that for the loss. The Suns should be used to it, by now.

Don’t blame the Chris Paul injury, either. The Suns should be used to that, too.

Instead, blame the Suns for apparently forgetting how to shoot.

Kevin Durant was an abysmal 10 for 27, including 3 for 12 from 3-point range.

And Phoenix’s role players didn’t pick him up, at all. Okogie, Bismack Biyombo, Cam Payne, Torrey Craig and Damion Lee combined for 6 points on 3-for-19 shooting.

That’s not going to win this time of year.

Next week, this could all be a memory, if Phoenix returns to Denver with the series tied 2-2.

But who’s willing to bet on that? Not when it looks like Chris Paul will be out for a while.

We don’t know the severity of Paul’s groin injury that forced him to leave the game in the second half, but it pains me to say that muscle strains and tears don’t tend to heal quickly for aging guards who can’t rely on their size to mask limited mobility.

This is not looking good for the Phoenix Suns, especially since moral victories don’t count this time of year.

Analysis: Suns must turn series around or face ‘Nuggets in 4’ after Game 2 loss

Reach Moore at or 602-444-2236. Follow him on Instagram and Twitter @SayingMoore.

This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Kevin Durant failed the Suns with poor shooting against Denver

Source: Yahoo Sports


Phoenix guard Chris Paul exits Game 2 vs. Nuggets with left groin tightness and is in doubt for the next playoff clash


Anthony Davis presents different problem for Warriors than Domantas Sabonis

Check Also

Pro Sports Media

Trending Now

‘Give him his damn respect’: A Joker always trumps a King

LOS ANGELES — LeBron James pleaded for a call, while Nikola Jokić raised his weary arms in victory — no matter the game, the Joker trumps a King, even if the King gets off to a rousing start. The Denver Nuggets advanced to the NBA Finals for the first time in franchise history, completing what […]

Read More