Recap: Devin Booker dominates with 49 points as Phoenix defeats Denver 140-130

Phoenix Suns v Denver Nuggets
Photo by Bart Young/NBAE via Getty Images

Another tough loss for the mile high crew

The Denver Nuggets take another loss at the hands of the Phoenix Suns tonight 140-130. Phoenix wins their 7th game in a row and their 7th consecutive road win. They clinched 1st place and home-court advantage throughout the playoffs with this win. For Denver, it is their first loss of the season when they score 120+ points. It was an atrocious showing out of Denver’s defense tonight, but turnovers reared their ugly head again. Denver turned it over 17 times, and Phoenix capitalized with 30 points off those turnovers.

Besides the turnovers, Denver’s offense could not have played much better. They had seven players in double figures, and they shot 59% from the field and 47% from three. Bones had a great showing with 23 points on 4-8 shooting from behind the arc. Jokic had 28 points, 6 rebounds, and 6 assists, but his plus-minus of -15 was the worst of any player tonight, and he only recorded 8 shot attempts until the 4:30 mark in the 4th. The Nuggets will look to shrug off another tough loss when they battle the Thunder on Saturday at 7:00 PM MT.

1st Quarter

  • The game started with two fadeaways, one from Jokic and one from Booker. After two Phoenix turnovers, Monte knocked in a three and Jokic a layup. Booker would respond with a mid-range jumper, but Barton and Jokic both followed with floaters for the 11-4 lead
  • Chris Paul assisted an Ayton mid-range, and then Booker converted 1 of 2 from the line along with a three-pointer. The Suns climbed within one at 11-10, and after a couple of scoreless possessions, Barton extended the lead with a driving layup
  • Booker tied it up at 13 with a long-distance three, but Gordon answered with a tip-in. At the other end, Chris Paul sank a mid-range fadeaway which forced a Nuggets timeout. Out of that timeout, Jokic scored on a spinning hook shot and then forced a Suns turnover
  • Booker caught Barton’s hands in the cookie jar as he sank an and-one mid-range jumper, giving the Suns an 18-17 advantage. On their next possession, Booker drew another shooting foul, but he could only capitalize on one of the free throws
  • Torrey Craig scored five in a row for the Suns, one a layup and the other a three-pointer. Gordon then scored four consecutive for Denver to get within three at 24-21, and Bones decreased the lead even further with two free throws
  • After a Bones block, he converted two free ones for Denver to regain the lead. JaVale McGee would answer with a lob layup, but Bones quickly answered with a corner triple
  • After two Booker free throws, Bones scored again with an and-one layup, but Payne tied the score with a corner three

Score: 31-31

Scoring leaders: Booker – 17, Hyland – 10

2nd Quarter

  • Boogie introduced the quarter with an and-one floater, and after two McGee free throws, Boogie bounced in a three from the wing. Jae Crowder then answered with a three as Denver maintained a 37-35 lead
  • Crowder made another three to grab the lead back, but Bones replied with his own three. Crowder answered with his second straight triple and third in the quarter.
  • Davon Reed scored four in a row with a mid-range and a driving layup as Denver took a 44-41 advantage. After a Phoenix timeout, Mikal Bridges dropped five consecutive, but in between, Bones sank another three
  • Bones erupted with another three in transition as Denver took a four-point lead, 50-46. Barton then got into the act with another Denver triple, but Ayton answered with six in a row
  • Uncle Jeff then hit a side-step three, but after two missed free ones from Jokic, Booker capitalized with an and-one layup. Denver put the score at 62-55 with a Monte three and a Jeff Green lob layup, however, a Payne floater would force a Malone timeout
  • Barton and Booker traded buckets following the timeout, but Craig would hit another three and Ayton a layup to tie it up at 64. Booker then made a floater, but Uncle Jeff ended the quarter with a three

Score: 68-66 Nuggets

Scoring leaders: Booker – 24, Hyland – 19

3rd Quarter

  • Ayton made a 12 footer to start the quarter, and then Jokic responded with a hook shot. Chris Paul would score five in a row for Phoenix, but Monte answered with a deep three
  • Ayton scored his 14th point with a floater, but at the other end, Jeff Green hit another corner three. Booker quickly replied with a mid-range jumper, but the Nuggets kept it going with a Gordon reverse layup and a Barton triple.
  • Morris followed with a four-point play off a corner three as Denver took an 85-78 lead until Booker threw a lob to Ayton for the dunk. Denver responded with their own alley-oop to Aaron Gordon, but Paul quieted the crowd with a mid-range jumper
  • Morris broke through the lane for a driving layup, but Booker matched it with a mid-range fadeaway and Bridges added a 19 footer. That diminished the Nugget lead to three at 89-86 until Jokic sank two free throws
  • Gordon drove through traffic for a left-handed layup, but Paul answered again with a short mid-range. Monte then found Gordon for an emphatic one-handed jam
  • Booker scored again with a layup, but the Nuggets would respond with four in a row from Gordon and Jokic to put the score at 101-92 Denver. Booker then drove to the lane again for an and-one layup and a dunk on the next possession
  • Phoenix climbed within four 101-97 before Bones executed a nice euro step layup. Landry Shamet answered with a pull-up mid-range, and Booker drew a foul for three free throws. Booker would then tie it up at 104 with another mid-range jumper, but Bones ended the quarter with a mid-range of his own

Score: 106-104 Nuggets

Scoring leaders: Booker – 43, Hyland – 23

4th Quarter

  • Boogie scored a driving layup to start the quarter, and then Paul found Biyombo for a wide-open dunk. After two minutes of scoreless basketball, Booker continued his hot play with a left-handed layup
  • Another minute would go by before Boogie played bully ball for a layup. Paul then found Bridges for a corner three as the Suns took the 111-110 lead and Paul extended it with another mid-range
  • Jokic answered with a 15 footer, but Bridges matched it with a mid-range jumper. Jokic found Barton for a driving layup, but Bridges knocked in two free throws and Booker a mid-range jumper as the Suns lead grew to 119-114
  • After Denver’s third consecutive turnover, Bridges made them pay with a triple. Following a Nuggets timeout, Jokic sank a three, but Payne responded with a layup. Jokic then found Gordon for an and-one layup as Denver climbed within four, 124-120
  • Cam Payne scored again with a floater and Bridges extended their lead to nine with a Bridges and-one dunk. Jokic made a floater on the following possession, but Crowder sank a three to put the score at 132-122
  • Jokic answered with a three, however, the Suns would score again with a Bridges turnaround jumper. Jokic sank two free throws and a Gordon tip shot brought Denver within six with about one minute remaining
  • The Nuggets turned it over with 45 seconds left, and Chris Paul hit four consecutive free throws for the dagger

Score: 140-130 Suns

Stat leaders

Points: Booker – 49

Rebounds: Ayton – 7

Assists: Paul – 13

Silent hero of the game: Mikal Bridges – 22 points on 8-9 shooting along with suffocating perimeter defense all night

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