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.

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