Down 3-0, history doesn't bode well for Denver Nuggets


Behind yet another dominating performance from the backcourt duo of Chris Paul and Devin Booker, who combined for 55 points, Phoenix took a commanding 3-0 lead in this best-of-seven series Friday with a 116-102 win in a Game 3 more lopsided than the final tally indicated. No team falling behind 3-0 in a playoff series has ever recovered to advance (0-142 all-time) to the next round, and Phoenix continues to prove it isn’t conceding anything going into Sunday’s potential closeout game at Ball Arena. "This is the first time in my career I’ve ever been up 3-0 in a series," said Paul, who has produced 34 assists in the series with just three turnovers while scoring 30 total points in the fourth quarter on 12-of-13 shooting. "So, just staying in the moment, understanding the importance of every game and knowing, too, that even though its 3-0, as long as they’re over there being led by Mike Malone, that team over there is gonna keep fighting." The situation reminds us all of how Denver became the only team in NBA history last year in the bubble to bounce back in the same postseason from two deficits of 3-1. The problem is the Nuggets need to find a way just to get to the "one." "The mood is definitely one of frustration," Denver coach Michael Malone said. "My only thing to our guys is, we’re down 3-0. We can’t try to win four games in a row in Game 4. Our whole focus is on trying to win a game. The last thing I want to see is the Phoenix Suns pushing a broom across that court after Game 4. The one thing I don’t want is for us to go out just quietly into that good night. I hope we show some real fight and resolve and force this series to go back to Phoenix for a Game 5." Better third-quarter performances from the Nuggets might serve as a solid starting point. Phoenix has outscored the Nuggets by at least nine points in the third of all three games. Denver trailed by just four points at intermission in this one, only to watch Phoenix race away with an 8-2 run over the final 1:58 of the third to go up 14 points headed into the final frame. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .