The Phoenix Suns look to take a commanding 3-0 lead when they visit the Denver Nuggets in Game 3 of their second round best-of-seven series. The Suns rose like a phoenix when Game 1 seemed to get away. Trailing by 10 points in the third quarter, the Suns went on a 28-9 run in their 122-105 win over the Nuggets. Then, they dominated the Nuggets in Game 2, with Chris Paul sparking their 123-98 win.
Paul finished with 17 points, 15 assists and zero turnovers and his assist-to-turnover ratio in the series is now 26-1. Devin Booker had 18 points and 10 rebounds and Deandre Ayton added 15 points and 10 rebounds. The Suns were just on another level at both ends of the floor, getting everything they wanted on offense while playing great defense.
All five Phonex starters scored in double figures, compared to only two for Denver’s first five. NBA MVP Nikola Jokic led the way for the Nuggets with 24 points, 13 rebounds and six assists but he received minimal help from his teammates. Moving forward, head coach Mike Malone has to get his team going, particularly Aaron Gordon (six points) and Michael Porter Jr. (11 points), who combined for just 17 points on 6 of 20 shooting on Wednesday. Game 3 takes place on Friday at Ball Arena in Denver.
Team to Win (Regular Time)
• Phoenix Suns: 2.04
• Denver Nuggets: 1.85
• Phoenix Suns: +1.5 (1.90)
• Denver Nuggets: -1.5 (1.90)
• Over 223.5 (1.93)
• Under 223.5 (1.88)
Key Points to Consider
The Suns are fun to watch. The perfect storm coming together. Credit to James Jones built this nicely and to head coach Monty Williams.
“I felt we quit tonight, which is something you never want to see,” Nuggets head coach Mike Malone said after Wednesday’s blowout loss. “So I guess for Game 3, I’m just going to try to find guys that will at least go out there and leave it all on the line. I may have a hard time coming up with five guys that fill that, but these two games, these second halves have really been disappointing, and that’s an understatement,” Malone added.
“I saw one team that wanted to be here, that played with a purpose and urgency, and one team that did not want to be here and played with no urgency,” Malone continued. “And that’s why we got our ass kicked. … We had a lot of guys play really bad tonight. And then we allowed the impact of not making the shot to affect the other end, and it was really — this was just an embarrassing performance all the way around, top to bottom.”
The Over is 6-1 in Phoenix’s last seven games against a team with a winning straight up record, 17-4 in Phoenix’s last 21 games following a straight up win of more than 10 points, 7-2 in Denver’s last nine overall, 5-1 in Denver’s last six games following a straight up loss and 6-2 in the last eight meetings between these two teams.
For the Suns, Devin Booker is projected to finish with 25.9 points, 5.4 assists and 4.5 rebounds, making 9.0 field goals in 19.6 attempts.
For the Nuggets, Nikola Jokic is expected to score 26.5 points with 10.2 rebounds and 9.1 assists, making 9.6 field goals in 17.4 attempts.
Four-star (out of four) AccuScore hot trend pick on the Over in this one. Average score in simulations is Phoenix Suns 115.5 to Denver Nuggets 112.5.
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