Nuggets dominate Suns in Phoenix, clinch journey to Western Conference finals

Nikola Jokić scored 32 factors in one other triple-double and Jamal Murray added 26 because the Denver Nuggets beat the short-handed Phoenix Suns 125-100 in Game 6 on Thursday evening, advancing the workforce to the Western Conference finals for the primary time since 2020.

Denver’s sequence victory comes two seasons after the Nuggets have been embarrassed in a second-round postseason sweep by the Suns. This time, it was the Suns getting blown out on their house ground to finish the season for the second straight yr.

The Nuggets will play within the convention finals for the primary time since they misplaced to the Lakers in 5 video games within the Florida bubble throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. They have by no means reached the NBA Finals.

The top-seeded Nuggets used a 23-2 run throughout the latter a part of the primary quarter to take a 44-26 lead and by no means appeared again. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope — averaging 9.5 factors within the playoffs — scored 17 within the first quarter whereas Jokić added 14.

Aaron Gordon and Nikola Jokic

Nikola Jokic #15 of the Denver Nuggets high-fives Aaron Gordon #50 throughout the second quarter in sport six of the Western Conference Semifinal Playoffs towards the Phoenix Suns at Footprint Center on May 11, 2023, in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Caldwell-Pope completed with 21 factors. Jokić shot 13 of 18 from the sphere and added 12 assists and 10 rebounds.

Denver’s offensive onslaught continued within the second because the lead grew to 81-51 by halftime, resulting in boos from Suns followers as gamers made their strategy to the locker room. The second half was basically an afterthought.

Cameron Payne scored 31 factors for Phoenix, hitting 7 of 9 3-pointers. Kevin Durant added 23.

The Suns have been taking part in with out injured starters Deandre Ayton and Chris Paul. Ayton sustained a rib contusion in Tuesday’s Game 5 whereas Paul has been out the previous 4 video games with a strained left groin.

Phoenix was eradicated within the Western Conference semifinals at house for the second consecutive yr regardless of a blockbuster commerce deadline deal for Durant, a 13-time All-Star and one of many league’s most prolific scorers. The 34-year-old had some good moments within the playoffs, however made simply 1 of his first 10 photographs on Thursday because the Suns fell into an enormous gap.

Aaron Gordon hyped

Aaron Gordon #50 of the Denver Nuggets celebrates throughout Game Six of the Western Conference Semi-Finals of the 2023 NBA Playoffs towards the Phoenix Suns on May 11, 2023, at Footprint Center in Phoenix, Arizona. (Garrett Ellwood/NBAE by way of Getty Images)


Suns guard Devin Booker was good in many of the postseason, averaging 36 factors per sport on 60% earlier than Game 6, however the three-time All-Star completed with simply 12 factors on Thursday.

The house workforce gained the primary 5 video games of the sequence till the Nuggets broke by means of in Game 6.


For the Suns, the loss was eerily just like Game 7 of final yr’s Western Conference semifinals. Phoenix, with the NBA’s greatest file, fell behind Dallas by 30 factors by halftime and ended up shedding 123-90 to finish its season.

In the shot clock period, the house workforce has trailed by 30-plus factors in a possible playoff elimination sport simply 3 times. Phoenix is now liable for two of them. The different was the Bucks in 2015.

Nikola Jokic looks on

Denver Nuggets middle Nikola Jokić (15) seems to be on towards the Phoenix Suns throughout the first half of sport six of the 2023 NBA playoffs at Footprint Center.  (Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports)


Nuggets: Murray was listed as questionable earlier than the sport with a non-COVID sickness. Murray acquired a giant hug from Nuggets coach Michael Malone as he checked out of the sport for the ultimate time.

Suns: Jock Landale completed with 13 factors and 5 rebounds, beginning rather than Ayton. The workforce hosted its eightieth consecutive sellout crowd, counting common season and postseason video games. The Suns have by no means gained a title since coming into the league in 1968.

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