Suns head home aiming for first win of series vs Nuggets

denver nuggets halfway to making it to the Western Conference Finals but Phoenix Suns of course still expect to charge

nuggets held service on their home floor and sons Will look to do the same with Games 3 and 4 of the conference semifinal series. sons Aim for his first win in the series on Friday night in Phoenix

Phoenix coach Montee Williams said after Game 2, “You have to believe it’s going to be here soon.”

Denver averaged 14 points in their two home wins, including a 97–87 Game 2 win in which two-time MVP Nikola Jokic recorded 39 points, 16 rebounds and five assists.

Jokic didn’t make it a three-peat because Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid was named MVP earlier this week. But Denver coach Michael Malone isn’t worried about it — nor is Jokic — with the big prize of reaching the NBA Finals sitting just six wins away.

“I am in awe of his greatness,” Malone said of Jokic. “I’m amazed at his consistency, his excellence, his ability to find so many different ways to beat you, whether it’s scoring, rebounding, playmaking… He’s not afraid of the moment.”

nuggets trailed by three points entering the fourth quarter of Game 2 before being put on hold sons Only 14 points on 7-for-25 shooting in final 12 minutes – Phoenix missed all nine of his 3-point attempts

Jamal Murray struggled for just 10 points on 3-of-15 shooting after putting up 34 in Game 1. He later looked at the stat sheet and knew that Jokic was responsible for leading the team to victory.

“I mean, 39 and 16, five dimes, while everyone else is struggling,” Murray said. “Dude, no hesitation with him. Just dominated both down and from the 3. Staying aggressive the whole game, picking us up during timeouts, believing in us the whole time, while he’s handling it all and Everyone’s slacking off.”

Meanwhile, Phoenix is ​​expected to be without Chris Paul at point guard after he was engaged in Game 2. Paul could also miss Sunday’s Game 4.

Paul suffered a concussion while battling for a rebound in the third quarter.

Williams said of Paul, “He looked like he was boxing.” “He just came up to where he couldn’t get away with it or anything.”

Cameron Payne is set to start in place of Paul. He played in Game 2 on 1-for-7 shooting in 17 minutes. sons a minus-16 while he was on the floor

Paul’s loss forces Devin Booker and Kevin Durant to fire sons back in series

Booker averaged 31 points and seven assists in the first two games, while Durant averaged 26.5 points and 11 rebounds.

Booker assures his teammates that the series is not over and that he felt he got the right reactions.

“It’s just a feeling,” Booker said. “It’s part of leadership, just trying to be effective in what you say and approach different people in different ways. I’ve had a lot of different teammates, a lot of different- There are different coaches, so I’ve seen what works and what doesn’t. I think we have a group that everyone still believes in and we take it from there.

sons Deandre Ayton can lead at center, averaging 14 points and 7.5 rebounds while being outplayed by Jokic

nuggets Figure to rely on Jokic again in Game 3. He posted 9-for-21 shooting in Game 1 while scoring 24 points and 19 rebounds.

“I love an offensive Nikola Jokic,” Malone said. “He can take over a game. He can beat you in so many ways. … I love a guy going to the basket, imposing his will on the other team.”

– Field Level Media