Nikola Jokic recorded 32 factors, 12 assists and 10 rebounds to assist the Denver Nuggets steamroll the host Phoenix Suns 125-100 on Thursday night time and win their Western Convention semifinal collection in six video games.
Jamal Murray scored 26 factors and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope produced all 21 of his factors in a dominant first half because the top-seeded Nuggets reached the convention finals for the second time up to now 4 seasons. It’s Denver’s fifth general journey to the Western finals.
Cameron Payne established private playoff highs of 31 factors and 7 3-pointers for the fourth-seeded Suns. Kevin Durant scored 23 factors, however Devin Booker had simply 12 to go along with eight assists.
Nikola Jokic 30-point Playoff triple-double 🗣️
Nuggets advance to the Western Convention Finals ‼️#NBAPlayoffs offered by @GooglePixel_US pic.twitter.com/sYjSopsNHG
— NBA (@NBA) Could 12, 2023
The Nuggets will open the Western Convention finals at residence on Tuesday in opposition to both the Golden State Warriors or Los Angeles Lakers.
Phoenix trailed 81-51 on the break, with the 30-point margin tying final season’s Suns for the third-worst playoff halftime deficit in NBA historical past to a group going through elimination. Phoenix trailed the Dallas Mavericks by 30 in Recreation 7 of the Western Convention semifinals earlier than succumbing 123-90.
The larger halftime deficits in elimination video games belong to the San Francisco Warriors (34 vs. the Milwaukee Bucks in Recreation 5 of the 1971 Western Convention semifinals) and the Bucks (32 vs. the Chicago Bulls in Recreation 6 of the 2015 Japanese Convention first spherical).
Chris Paul (groin) missed his fourth straight recreation and Suns teammate Deandre Ayton (rib) additionally sat out. Phoenix shot 48.1 % from the sector and 11 of 28 (39.3 %) from behind the arc. The Suns additionally acquired 13 factors from Jock Landale.
Bruce Brown scored 13 factors and Michael Porter Jr. added 10 for the Nuggets, who shot 53.7 % from the sector, together with 8 of twenty-two (36.4 %) from 3-point vary. Jokic linked on 13 of 18 pictures whereas posting his third triple-double of the collection.
Denver started pulling away by scoring 17 straight factors to finish the primary quarter with a 44-26 lead. Murray scored the primary two factors of the second to cap a 19-0 surge.
The Suns have been down by 15 after Booker’s basket with 5:11 left within the first half earlier than the Nuggets exploded on a 19-2 burst. Murray’s brief jumper capped the run to make it 79-47 with 1:05 remaining.
Along with Caldwell-Pope’s large half, Jokic had 20 factors and Murray scored 18 within the half. For Phoenix, Payne had 19 factors earlier than the break.
The Suns trimmed the deficit to 91-68 on Payne’s 3-pointer with 4:36 left within the third quarter. Nevertheless, Murray sank two 3-pointers throughout a 10-3 run to get the Nuggets’ lead again as much as 30.
Denver led 103-76 coming into the ultimate stanza. Jokic exited with the Nuggets up by 25 with 2:11 remaining.
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