The Playoffs series are like a marathon where the one who advances is the one who manages to win four games, but Phoenix Suns it was great a tremendous sprint between the close of the third quarter and the start of the last period to put in his pocket his triumph for 122-105 in view of Denver Nuggets and start winning the series 1-0 Western Conference Semifinals.
The local team achieved a partial of 42-14 in the twelve minutes after being down 70-60 on the scoreboard, he finished with great tranquility in his stadium, having fun and making the very modern Phoenix Suns Arena a party. The experienced Chris Paul, with his 36 years in tow, ended up being the dominant player of that hot moment and left his people with the first smile of the week.
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The next game in the series will be on Wednesday 9, also in Phoenix, at 8:30 p.m. CDMX, 10:30 p.m. in Argentina and 02:30 a.m. in Spain.
Here are some observations from the meeting:
- Chris Paul He ends up asserting himself as the man of the night for a sensational fourth quarter, in which he scored or assisted on 20 of Phoenix’s 34 points in the fourth quarter despite playing 9 of those 12 minutes. The Suns point guard managed to be the third player over 36 to sign a roster of at least 20 points and 10 assists in the Playoffs in the last 30 years (Steve Nash and John Stockton are the background) and he came back from a low-profile start to show that shoulder trouble seems to be a thing of the past.
- Mikal Bridges He surprised by being the top scorer of the game: the young Phoenix forward scored 23 points shooting 4-8 from the triple but not limited to that resource: he also distributed 5 assists and contributed with his attacks to the basket.
- Deandre Ayton He was again extremely efficient, shooting 9-13 from the field for a double-double of 20 points and 10 assists. When Chris Paul is comfortable, Ayton throws a party looking for spaces in the paint to receive the ball.
- Devin Booker He did not need to put himself in savior mode: he also achieved a roster of 21 points and 8 assists with 8-12 from the field. Jae Crowder, the other starter of the winners, scored 14 points with 3-9 on triples. The Suns starting five combined for a 38-64 from the field: a spectacular 59.3% boosted by the large number of comfortable shots they made once they had established themselves defensively and got into the heads of the Nuggets. Until 70-60 in favor of Denver, the game looked totally even.
- Facundo Campazzo achieved his best scoring mark in these Playoffs: the Argentine base added 14 points, 6 assists, 4 rebounds and 2 steals in 36 minutes, throwing 5-9 from the field with 3-6 in triples. Facu started it all, scoring six of the Nuggets’ first eight goals, and his game went from high to low. He alternated some good defensive appearances, but in the fourth quarter he suffered a lot from Chris Paul’s hierarchy up front.
- The Nuggets wanted to hurt in transition, without letting the Phoenix defense arise, but it ended up being the Suns who added the most in that regard: 13-7. From the triple the story was even38.2% for Phoenix on 34 pitches and 35% for Denver on 40 attempts.
- Nikola Jokic He contributed 22 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals and 3 blocks, but he was never in control of the game and was far from the performance that Denver needs from him to beat an opponent of this caliber. The Serbian shot 2-5 in triples and forgave even more in the low post, his zone.
- Aaron Gordon was Denver’s second leading scorer with 18 points: he could not with the triple (0-3) but his physical intensity attracted attention and was one of the pillars of Denver staying in the game for much of the game, also giving some good defensive passage against Booker.
- Michael Porter Jr. was limited more to the outside shot (15 points with 3-8 in triples and 2-2 from middle distance) and for Austin Rivers Y Monte Morris, important in the series against Portland, the rim was crooked: Rivers added 7 points with 2-7 from the field and Morris 2 points with 1-10. JaMychal Green y Paul Millsap they generated the points from the bench, with 10 points and 11 rebounds for the first. Markus Howard (3 points in 8 minutes) was the ninth man in the rotation and Shaquille Harrison just entered for “garbage minutes.”
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The comments of the game live:
Denver Nuggets and Phoenix Suns open the game with their usual five from these Playoffs: Facundo Campazzo, Austin Rivers, Michael Porter Jr., Aaron Gordon and Nikola Jokic on the one hand and Chris Paul, Devin Booker, Mikal Bridges, Jae Crowder and Deandre Ayton of the other.
Interesting start to the game, with Denver leading 18-13 and Ayton and Campazzo! taking the leading role. The Suns big man already has 7 points and is feasting on the painted area in attack, while the Nuggets point guard hit a triple in the center of the court and also got a 2 + 1. Michael Porter Jr. is 2-2 on 3s and Devin Booker started attacking the rim in the last minute.
First 3 points? Del Facu 🔥🔥🔥 pic.twitter.com/1TkPePYiHh
– TeamFacu (@ TeamFacu7) June 8, 2021
The Suns’ best finish in the first quarter: a triple plus foul from Jae Crowder equalized at 28 in a game in which the two lowered their offensive efficiency in the final minutes of action.
– NBA (@NBA) June 8, 2021
Denver’s bench started with a hot hand in the second quarter: 3s from Markus Howard and Paul Millsap plus some baskets from Michael Porter Jr. made the game 38-31 while Jokic, Ayton and Booker rest.
Beautiful find and finish pic.twitter.com/4SHxvabyET
– Denver Nuggets (@nuggets) June 8, 2021
Michael Malone calls a timeout to stop Chris Paul’s momentum: the Suns point guard made his first triple and also found Dario Saric for a 2 + 1, thus cutting the distance to 40-37.
Facu Campazzo returned to the field and quickly committed his second foul: a problem for the Argentine, very intense and physical in defense and therefore prone to committing infractions. The same then added two more points and Denver took air on the scoreboard: 46-42 after another double from Millsap.
The game keeps getting better: the Nuggets lead 58-57 at halftime in a game with a lot of rhythm, as the Denver game plan wanted, with little success in the triple for both (33.3% with 7-21 from the field per side) and with a little more ease from Denver to add in the paint.
👀 The fastest in the class … He’s everywhere! 👀 pic.twitter.com/8HgSDW3BQl
– NBA Latam (@NBALatam) June 8, 2021
Between Jokic, Porter and Campazzo they accumulate 38 goals: Rivers (0) and Morris (2) are off in the visitors. Ayton and Booker lead Phoenix with 11 points per side, while an occasional Chris Paul has 5 points and 7 assists. Crowder was quite forgiving from the triple (1-5) and Ayton looks a little more uncomfortable than in the series against Lakers. The balance is positive for the Nuggets after 24 minutes of action.
Phoenix fails to make field goals in the first three and a half minutes and is down 67-58: Gordon for insisting and Jokic for his technique make differences and Denver has its maximum advantage in the game.
If at first you don’t succeed… pic.twitter.com/Janpz9D8RV
– Denver Nuggets (@nuggets) June 8, 2021
The last actions of the game took place between Bridges and Rivers: Denver led by 70-60 but the Phoenix forward, who is already the top scorer of his team with 18 goals, brought the locals to 72-68.
Team-high 18 PTS for Mikal Bridges!
– NBA (@NBA) June 8, 2021
The extra shots are something Phoenix is taking advantage of in this game: Booker had a 3 + 1 chance and missed the extra pitch, but then Payne stole the ball from Campazzo and on the backlash the Suns went ahead for 79 -72 with three minutes to go in the third quarter. It is the first time in the match in which the home team controls the score by more than one possession and they did it with this 19-2 run in the last four and a half minutes, in which Denver could not score even a shot field.
Brilliant third chapter for the Suns, who won it 88-79, frustrating a Denver that lost focus on defense and allowed Phoenix to score eight of its last 10 shots to the basket, most comfortably. Mikal Bridges is on: 23 points with 4-8 in triples.
Initial 6-0 for the Suns that leads Denver to request a time-out quickly at the beginning of the fourth quarter: Mike Malone’s men seem unable to react and, as in the series against Lakers, Phoenix enlarges easily with the course of his side.
If it was missing to see more of Chris Paul, the point guard is exploiting everything now: he already has 10 points and an assist in the last quarter and his team wins 102-84 with 8:23 left.
– NBA (@NBA) June 8, 2021
Denver came within 14 points of difference with the triple that JaMychal Green just made after an assist from Campazzo, but with 5:37 to play and Phoenix stronger than ever, a comeback does not seem possible: the visiting team should have a defensive level that does not feel from the beginning of the game.
Suns are feelin it 🔥
Got the fans hyped. pic.twitter.com/qYWDiEpwDW
– NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) June 8, 2021
Jae Crowder just scored his third triple of the game from the right corner and it looks like a dagger: it is 114-97 in favor of the Suns with just over three minutes left on the clock. It seems extremely unlikely that the hosts will miss this opportunity to lead 1-0 in the series.
The final minutes were only used for the players at the bottom of the rotation to step onto the court. Victory 122-105 for Phoenix, which comes with a 1-0 lead to the second game next Wednesday.
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