PHOENIX SUNS

Suns again break game open on Nuggets to go ahead 2-0

Jun 9, 2021, 8:49 PM | Updated: Jun 10, 2021, 12:21 am
Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker, left, high fives forward Dario Saric after a three pointer against...

Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker, left, high fives forward Dario Saric after a three pointer against the Denver Nuggets during the first half of Game 2 of an NBA basketball second-round playoff series, Wednesday, June 9, 2021, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)

(AP Photo/Matt York)

PHOENIX — It was not pretty for either offense, but the Phoenix Suns took a 10-point lead into halftime in Game 2 of their conference semifinals series against the Denver Nuggets.

Then they followed the script for Game 1 of the series.

Phoenix punched hard in the third quarter, and the overly Nikola Jokic-centric Nuggets couldn’t find the newly minted league MVP enough support in a 123-98 Suns win that gave the home team a 2-0 series lead.

Just like Game 1, the Phoenix victory included a well-rounded collection of contributions.

Devin Booker (18 points, 10 rebounds), Chris Paul (17 points, 15 assists) and Deandre Ayton (15 points, 10 rebounds) all had double-doubles by the early fourth quarter, and all of them received an extended rest in the final period.

Every Phoenix starter, plus Torrey Craig off the bench, reached double-figures.

Phoenix outscored Denver 73-56 in the second half.

The Suns’ clean offensive second half was a departure from a junked up first half for both teams.

Denver shot 37% and went 4-of-22 from three-point range. Phoenix fared little better, hitting 41% overall.

For the Nuggets, Jokic led the way with 24 points, 13 rebounds and six assists. He received little help.

Michael Porter Jr., who played despite being questionable heading into Wednesday with a bad back, went 3-of-13 from the field for just 13 points. Fellow starting forward Aaron Gordon had just six points.

Meanwhile, Denver’s trio of rotation guards all struggled.

Starters Facundo Campazzo and Austin Rivers plus backup Monte Morris combined to shoot 4-of-19 for 12 total points.

Penguin Air
PHOENIX, ARIZONA - JUNE 09:  Phoenix Suns "the valley" towels are draped over seats before Game Two of the Western Conference second-round playoff series against the Denver Nuggets at Phoenix Suns Arena on June 09, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) PHOENIX, ARIZONA - JUNE 09:  Jae Crowder #99 of the Phoenix Suns reacts after a three-point shot against the Denver Nuggets during the first half in Game Two of the Western Conference second-round playoff series at Phoenix Suns Arena on June 09, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) PHOENIX, ARIZONA - JUNE 09:  Michael Porter Jr. #1 of the Denver Nuggets attempts a shot over Devin Booker #1 of the Phoenix Suns during the first half in Game Two of the Western Conference second-round playoff series at Phoenix Suns Arena on June 09, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) PHOENIX, ARIZONA - JUNE 09:  Jae Crowder #99 of the Phoenix Suns attempts a shot over Aaron Gordon #50 of the Denver Nuggets during the first half in Game Two of the Western Conference second-round playoff series at Phoenix Suns Arena on June 09, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) PHOENIX, ARIZONA - JUNE 09:  Facundo Campazzo #7 of the Denver Nuggets attempts a three-point shot over Devin Booker #1 of the Phoenix Suns during the first half in Game Two of the Western Conference second-round playoff series at Phoenix Suns Arena on June 09, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)  Phoenix Suns forward Dario Saric (20) celebrates a three pointer against the Denver Nuggets during the first half of Game 2 of an NBA basketball second-round playoff series, Wednesday, June 9, 2021, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York) Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) dunks against the Denver Nuggets during the first half of Game 2 of an NBA basketball second-round playoff series, Wednesday, June 9, 2021, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York) PHOENIX, ARIZONA - JUNE 09:  Devin Booker #1 of the Phoenix Suns slam dunks the ball against the Denver Nuggets during the first half in Game Two of the Western Conference second-round playoff series at Phoenix Suns Arena on June 09, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) PHOENIX, ARIZONA - JUNE 09:  Cameron Johnson #23 of the Phoenix Suns attempts a three-point shot over Aaron Gordon #50 of the Denver Nuggets during the first half in Game Two of the Western Conference second-round playoff series at Phoenix Suns Arena on June 09, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) PHOENIX, ARIZONA - JUNE 09:  Cameron Johnson #23 of the Phoenix Suns attempts a three-point shot against the Denver Nuggets during the first half in Game Two of the Western Conference second-round playoff series at Phoenix Suns Arena on June 09, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) PHOENIX, ARIZONA - JUNE 09:  Deandre Ayton #22 of the Phoenix Suns slam dunks the ball against the Denver Nuggets during the second half in Game Two of the Western Conference second-round playoff series at Phoenix Suns Arena on June 09, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) PHOENIX, ARIZONA - JUNE 09:  Cameron Payne #15 of the Phoenix Suns reacts to a foul call against the Denver Nuggets during the second half in Game Two of the Western Conference second-round playoff series at Phoenix Suns Arena on June 09, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

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