Turnovers, rebounding plague Suns in Game 1 blowout loss to Nuggets

Apr 29, 2023, 7:55 PM | Updated: 10:41 pm

Kevin Durant (35) of the Phoenix Suns dribbles as Aaron Gordon (50) of the Denver Nuggets defends d...

Kevin Durant (35) of the Phoenix Suns dribbles as Aaron Gordon (50) of the Denver Nuggets defends during the second quarter at Ball Arena in Denver on Saturday, April 29, 2023. (Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

(Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

The Phoenix Suns fell behind in the second quarter of Game 1 on Saturday against the Denver Nuggets and couldn’t come back in the 125-107 loss at Ball Arena.

The loss is largely due to numerous turnovers (16) for Phoenix and a crooked number in the rebounding category that heavily favored Denver (49-38). The Nuggets also snagged 16 offensive boards compared to the Suns’ eight.

The Suns led by one after the first quarter, but a 37-19 second quarter in favor of the Nuggets was enough for the home team to cruise to victory.

Deandre Ayton struggled to keep up on the glass with reigning two-time league MVP Nikola Jokic.

Jokic poured in 24 points, grabbed a game-high 19 rebounds (11 offensive) and had five assists.

Both Kevin Durant and Devin Booker played well for Phoenix, but the supporting cast offered little help.

Durant scored a team-high 29 points on 12-of-19 shooting, paired with 14 rebounds, one assist and seven turnovers.

Booker added 27 points, eight assists, four rebounds and three turnovers.

The Nuggets point guard Jamal Murray paced the team in scoring with a nuclear night, scoring 34 points (13-of-24 shooting, 6-for-10 from 3), dishing out nine assists and five rebounds.

Overall as a team, Denver shot 16-of-37 from three (43.2%) with seven players draining one from deep.

The Nuggets had three separate players score 20 or more points with Murray (34), Jokic (24) and Aaron Gordon (23).

The Suns’ bench added just 12 points from five different players with 6:00 minutes remaining before the Suns pulled all the starters waving the white flag in defeat. No bench player scored more than three points at this point.

Backup point guard Cam Payne was not listed on the injury report prior to the contest but saw very limited minutes as Landry Shamet received a lion’s share of the backup guard time off the bench.

Catch Game 2 of the Western Conference semifinals in Denver on Monday at 7 p.m. on 98.7, the Arizona Sports app or

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