- Chris Paul played his best basketball of the current postseason to lead the Suns to a Game 1 win over the Nuggets.
- Devin Booker didn’t need a big night to beat Denver on Monday but he still finished with 21 points.
- The Suns are a -205 to win their series at online sports book BetOnline.
The Phoenix Suns drew first blood on Monday, beating the Denver Nuggets 122-105 in Game 1 of their western conference semifinals series.
Denver survived the first round of the playoffs with a makeshift starting backcourt of Facu Campazzo and Austin Rivers due to the injuries to Jamal Murray and Will Barton.
However, Campazzo and Rivers combined to score only 21 points in Game 1, a total which was doubled by Phoenix’s All-Star back court of Chris Paul and Devin Booker.
The CP3 Takeover
— theScore (@theScore) June 8, 2021
Paul took over in the 4th quarter, scoring 14 points on 6-6 shooting as the Suns pulled away from the Nuggets for good. He shot 8-14 from the field (57%) including 2-3 from behind the three-point arc.
CP3 would finish the game with his first double-double in the current postseason and arguably his best game in this year’s playoffs with 21 points, 6 rebounds, and 11 assists with only one turnover.
With his Game 1 heroics, Paul joined Steve Nash as the only players, aged 36 or older, to score 20 points and issue 10 assists in an NBA playoff game in the last 30 years. He is also the first player, aged 36 or above, to post a statline on 20/5/10 in the NBA playoffs since 1965.
Monday’s double-double game was the 48th in CP3’s decorated postseason career. It was also his 45th career playoff game with 10+ assists which is 9th most all-time. Paul also now has 27 career 20/10 playoff games which is the 4th most in the history of the NBA’s postseason.
— ESPN (@espn) June 8, 2021
Devin Booker also scored 21 points on 8-12 shooting with four rebounds and eight assists. His 12 shots taken are his fewest in the current postseason. But with Paul playing his best game since hurting his shoulder in the Lakers’ series and Mikal Bridges scoring a playoff career-high of 23 points, Booker didn’t need to score too many points on Monday night.
Still, he played with the same energy that helped the Suns win three straight games to eliminate the current champions Lakers. D-Book punctuated a 16-0 third quarter run with a three-pointer that gave the Suns a 77-72 lead and started their breakaway:
Devin. Booker. 😤
Suns on a 16-0 run 😳
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) June 8, 2021
He would miss the free throw on that four point-play attempt but there was no question that he left his imprint on the game, as he has in the 2021 playoffs.
Booker averaged 29.7 points, 6.2 assists, and 5.0 assists per game in his first ever playoff series while punctuating his arrival in the postseason with 47 points on 8-10 three-point shooting in the closeout game against the Lakers.
Suns Favored to Beat Nuggets
Updated #NBAPlayoffs Series Odds:
76ers -125 :(
— Dave Mason (@DaveMasonBOL) June 7, 2021
Game 2 of the Suns vs Nugget series will be on Wednesday, June 9th at 9:30 P.M. ET at the Phoenix Suns Arena. The home team has opened as six-point betting favorites to keep their home court advantage and take a 2-0 series lead over Denver.
Before Game 1, the Suns were listed as a -205 odds on favorite to beat the Nuggets (+175) in their second round series. Online sportsbook BetOnline also listed Phoenix as a +285 favorite to win the series in five games, and a +340 to beat the Nuggets in seven games.
With eight teams remaining in the 2021 NBA Playoffs, Phoenix has the 4th best odds to win the NBA title at +600. Only the Brooklyn Nets at +110, Utah Jazz at +375, and the L.A. Clippers at +500 have better odds than the Suns.