It was a familiar ending for the Phoenix Suns and their fans as their postseason hopes came to an end with an embarrassing 125-100 loss to the Denver Nuggets in Game 6 of the NBA playoffs. The brutal, embarrassing loss marked the conclusion of a roller coaster season for the Suns, with the Nuggets moving on to face the Lakers or Warriors in the conference semifinals.
“We weren’t satisfied winning the first round,” said Denver Nuggets head coach Michael Malone. “We’re not satisfied now. Our goals are much bigger than getting to the Western Conference Finals.”
The game started off evenly matched, but as the series had shown, Denver quickly took control towards the end of the first quarter and held on to it until the final buzzer. By halftime, the score was 81-51 in favor of the Nuggets, and many of the Suns’ fans had started leaving the arena before the game was even over.
Despite the Suns’ reliance on Devin Booker for hot performances in previous games, he failed to deliver in Game 6, scoring only 12 points on 4-of-13 shooting. With Deandre Ayton and Chris Paul sidelined due to injuries, Suns coach Monty Williams opted for a small-ball lineup comprising Booker, Cam Payne, Landry Shamet, Kevin Durant, and Jock Landale.
Payne led the Suns in scoring with 31 points, with Durant adding 23 more. However, Phoenix’s bench failed to produce anything significant, with only 12 points coming from their six players in the second unit.
On the other hand, Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic turned in another brilliant performance, recording a triple-double with 32 points, 10 rebounds, and 12 assists. This was his third triple-double in the final four games of the series, leading some analysts to suggest he may be dominating the competition like no other player in the playoffs.
Jamal Murray contributed 26 points, while Kentavious Caldwell-Pope added 21 points, and the Nuggets shot 53.7% from the field as a team, out-rebounding Phoenix with 41 rebounds to the Suns’ 29.
The Suns had a tough series against the Nuggets; they won the first game but couldn’t keep up with Denver after that. They fought hard but eventually lost the series, 4-2.
The NBA playoffs continue with the Denver Nuggets moving on to the conference semifinals, and the Suns will have to wait until next season to redeem themselves. As the NBA playoffs progress, the excitement builds, and fans wait eagerly to see who will take the prize home.
Denver Nuggets are legit
Overflowing with skepticism, too many observers have given up on the Denver Nuggets. The common critiques point towards Nikola Jokic’s lack of flashiness and the fact that Denver is not a trendy city.
However, if you watch this team play, you would see that not only are they the best team left standing in the playoffs, they are the outright favorites poised to claim the NBA Title. ESPN’s Kendrick Perkins had to do a mea culpa about the Denver Nuggets.
I’ve been in denial about Jokic and the Nuggets… but I MUST say that they are LEGIT. Carry the hell on…
— Kendrick Perkins (@KendrickPerkins) May 12, 2023
Is Nikola Jokic the best player left in the playoffs?
With his utterly jaw-dropping performances, it’s impossible to argue otherwise; he put up multiple awe-inspiring triple-doubles while being the unequivocal king on the court that housed none other than Kevin Durant and Devin Booker. He may not boast fireworks on the court, but he’s a sight to behold, thanks to his unbelievable efficiency!
Jokic has an insatiable knack for making a challenging game look like a cakewalk and has been setting audiences ablaze lately; and while many dispute LeBron James, Anthony Davis, or even Stephen Curry as the best in the game, the gargantuan seven-footer driving the success of the Denver Nuggets has been unquestionably the most prominent player in the 2023 NBA playoffs!
"I always knew how great he was…I wasn't surprised at all…he'll go down as one of the all-time great centers that ever touched a basketball"
Kevin Durant on Nikola Jokic pic.twitter.com/vmwqNL53Cw
— NBA TV (@NBATV) May 12, 2023