Chris Paul takes over in fourth quarter to guide Phoenix Suns previous Denver Nuggets

Chris Paul hit an ideal 6/6 from the ground within the fourth quarter because the Suns beat the Denver Nuggets 122 – 105 to take Recreation 1 in entrance of a raucous Phoenix crowd.

Paul and his rejuvenated proper shoulder scored 21 factors (14 factors within the fourth) and dished 11 assists because the Phoenix Suns beat the Denver Nuggets within the first sport of their Western Convention semi-finals collection.

Mikal Bridges additionally added 23 in a breakout playoff sport for the third-year wing.

All eyes have been on Paul within the opening minutes, particularly after his ailing proper shoulder was inadvertently bumped by Denver level guard Facundo Campazzo.

The 11-time All-Star seemed uncomfortable for a second however recovered shortly. He went scoreless within the opening interval however made a 3-pointer within the second quarter after which a turnaround jumper.

The Suns trailed for a lot of the first half and by 10 factors early within the third quarter however rallied to take the lead by late within the third.

Devin Booker made a 27-foot, step again 3-pointer and Bridges added a driving layup for a 79-72 benefit. They pushed the result in 88-79 going into the fourth.

Nonetheless, Paul actually began to seem like his outdated self within the fourth quarter, when he knocked down back-to-back mid-range jumpers to place the Suns up 94-79 with 10:25 left.

Partly due to the shoulder damage, Paul averaged simply 9.2 factors per sport in opposition to the Lakers within the first spherical. The flurry got here a lot to the delight of the sell-out crowd of 16,319, who anxiously watched the purpose guard’s each transfer.

Paul’s buckets have been the ultimate exclamation factors on a 34-9 run that helped Phoenix take management and cruise to the end line. Veteran energy ahead Paul Millsap scored within the inside with 10 minutes left to halt the Phoenix onslaught.

Nonetheless, the Suns nonetheless managed to maintain the warmth on as Paul transformed a three-point play and a three-pointer and Cameron Payne fed an alley-oop to Torrey Craig for a ferocious dunk that elevated the Phoenix result in 102-84 with 8:36 left.

Crowder later knocked down a 3-pointer to make it 114-97 with 3:34 left, and Booker added a jumper 26 seconds later to finish any suspense. The Suns’ lead topped out at 20 factors.

The younger large man Deandre Ayton had one other spectacular sport, ending with 20 factors and 10 rebounds whereas limiting Nikola Jokic’s effectiveness on the defensive finish. In the meantime Devin Booker added 21 factors, 4 rebounds and eight assists.

Phoenix Suns

Factors Rebounds Assists
Jae Crowder 14 5 1
Mikal Bridges 23 5 5
Deandre Ayton 20 10 0
Devin Booker 21 4 8
Chris Paul 21 11 6

Nikola Jokic led the Nuggets with 22 factors however went chilly whereas the Suns made their second half run. Aaron Gordon added 18 factors whereas Michael Porter Jr. had 15.

Denver Nuggets

Factors Rebounds Assists
Aaron Gordon 18 4 2
Michael Porter Jr. 15 7 2
Nikola Jokic 22 9 3
Austin Rivers 7 3 4
Facundo Campazzo 14 4 6

The large man matchup between Jokic and Ayton initially delivered within the first quarter as the 2 groups fought to a 28-all tie. Ayton threw down a thunderous dunk over Michael Porter Jr. whereas Jokic used his energy and positioning to make 5 of six pictures.

Denver led 58-57 at halftime. Jokic had 15 factors and 6 rebounds earlier than the break whereas Booker and Ayton countered with 11 factors every for the Suns.

It was stunning that the sport did not come all the way down to the ultimate minutes. The three regular-season conferences have been all extraordinarily shut: One was determined by three factors in regulation, one other was settled in extra time and the opposite went to double extra time.

Recreation 2 of the collection is on Wednesday evening, once more in Phoenix.

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