Suns use 2nd quarter run to get back in, lose Game 5 vs. Nuggets

May 9, 2023, 8:29 PM | Updated: 10:46 pm

Phoenix Suns Denver Nuggets Game Five...

Nikola Jokic #15 of the Denver Nuggets puts up a shot against Deandre Ayton #2 of the Phoenix Suns in the first quarter during Game Five of the NBA Western Conference Semifinals at Ball Arena on May 09, 2023 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

(Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

The Suns went on a game-changing run in the second quarter to overcome an early hole in the first half of Tuesday night’s Game 5 at Ball Arena, but Phoenix was unable to build off the momentum and fell 118-102.

After the Suns trailed 35-24 at the end of the first 12 minutes, Phoenix stormed back to torch the Denver Nuggets 25-17 in the second quarter.

Denver still took a 52-49 lead into the locker room at halftime, but its lead was as large as 15 with a minute to go in the opening period.

Devin Booker hit a bank three-pointer at the buzzer to end the half, but the Suns star didn’t get the shot off in time for it to count.

Phoenix was able to rally back thanks to a 22-7 run over a 7.5-minute stretch that concluded around the 1:30 mark in the second quarter.

Booker continued his historic playoff run with a game-high 19 points on 5-of-8 shooting (62.5%), including 1-for-2 from beyond the arc and a perfect 8-of-8 from the free-throw line.

Meanwhile, Suns co-star Kevin Durant had a rough start to the contest before finishing the first half with 13 points.

After starting the game 1-for-8 from the field, Durant went 4-for-8 while playing all but two seconds in the first 24 minutes.

However, the Nuggets got a big boost from Michael Porter Jr.’s 16 first-half points on 6-of-9 shooting, including a game-high 3-for-4 clip from deep.

The Nuggets came out of the break and won the third quarter 39-25, putting the Suns in the rearview en route to staying unbeaten at home these playoffs.

Denver took a 3-2 lead in the series, which goes back to the Valley on Thursday.

Phoenix Suns

Eric Gordon #10 of the LA Clippers reacts during the second half Game One of the Western Conference...

Kellan Olson

The if of the 5th: Eric Gordon as starter would give Suns offensive firepower

Does it make enough sense for the Phoenix Suns to look past defensive question marks and start Eric Gordon for the best offense?

2 hours ago

Shawn Marion and Amare Stoudemire of the Suns...

Arizona Sports

36 unbothered: Shawn Marion, Amar’e Stoudemire mend relationship with Suns

Shawn Marion and Amar'e Stoudemire will go into the Phoenix Suns Ring of Honor this year, finally, thanks to an ownership change.

17 hours ago

Bol Bol #10 of the Orlando Magic in action against the Chicago Bulls during the first half at Unite...

Kellan Olson

The if of the 5th: Chaotic possibilities for Phoenix Suns with starting Bol Bol

The Phoenix Suns would be embracing chaos by using Bol Bol as a fifth starter, an idea that has both serious pros and cons.

22 hours ago

Yuta Watanabe #18 and Kevin Durant #7 of the Brooklyn Nets react during the third quarter against t...

Kellan Olson

The if of the 5th: Yuta Watanabe would maximize Phoenix Suns’ spacing

Yuta Watanabe as the fifth starter would make the Phoenix Suns' offense even more nuclear but bring more questions defensively.

2 days ago

Deandre Ayton #22 of the Phoenix Suns looks on in the third quarter against the Indiana Pacers at G...

Arizona Sports

Deandre Ayton posts love for the Valley as Portland beckons

A little more than 24 hours since he was traded to the Portland Trailblazers, Dominayton sent his thanks to the Valley via Instagram.

2 days ago

Josh Okogie, Phoenix Suns...

Kevin Zimmerman

The if of the 5th: Josh Okogie’s on-ball duties could be Suns’ priority

Will Josh Okogie be the Phoenix Suns' fifth starter? His on-ball defense is something Frank Vogel will like.

2 days ago

Suns use 2nd quarter run to get back in, lose Game 5 vs. Nuggets