The Denver Nuggets season came to a close Sunday night at Ball Arena as the Phoenix Suns captured a 125-118 victory to sweep the series 4-0. It was another frustrating game against the Suns for Denver as they lost Nikola Jokic in the third quarter to a flagrant two call that ejected him from the game.
Nikola Jokic got Cam Payne in the face. It wasn't close to as bad as it looked live, but the windup -- even though he was going for the ball and eventually got ball -- is why he's in the locker room right now.— Harrison Wind (@HarrisonWind) June 14, 2021
Is LeBron, CP3, Steph getting ejected for that? It's a flagrant 1. pic.twitter.com/c3WCSf16gL
In a must win game, the Nuggets didn't get off to the best of starts as they were missing shots left and right while Phoenix had no problem making theirs. Michael Porter Jr. opened the game 0-of-5 shooting from the field as Nikola Jokic, Monte Morris, and Austin Rivers were the only Nuggets to make field goals (Aaron Gordon made two free-throws) in the opening quarter.
Denver finally got into a rhythm through the midway point of the second quarter when they cut the Suns deficit to 43-41 with just over five minutes left in the quarter. Phoenix went on another run to close the half though as the Suns took a 63-55 lead into the halftime locker room.
Devin Booker led all scorers at the break with 21 first half points behind two three-pointers and seven free-throws. Jokic was right behind Booker though with 18 points of his own to go along with 10 rebounds and four assists. Morris was another bright side from the Nuggets first half as he scored 11 points on 5-of-8 shooting from the field.
The Nuggets desperately needed a spark to open the third quarter and they got one courtesy of some threes by Michael Porter Jr. and Will Barton. As the Nuggets began to find their stride offensively, Chris Paul began to take over for the Suns nailing midrange jumper after midrange jumper.
Phoenix was keeping a comfortable six to eight point lead until the quarter went haywire as Jokic was ejected for a flagrant two call on Cameron Payne. From that point on, the Suns smelt blood in the water and built their lead to 96-83 going into the fourth quarter.
The Nuggets showed their resilience though as they opened the fourth quarter on a 10-1 run to cut the Suns lead down to 4-points. As the Suns kept finding ways to build on their lead, the Nuggets would fight back to keep it a two possession game.
Denver continued to scrap and claw, but the Suns just had to much fire power in the end as Phoenix pulled off a 125-118 victory. Jokic led the way offensively for Denver with 22 points on 9-of-17 shooting from the field to go along with 11 rebounds and four assists. Barton also had a great game offensively with 25 points, while Porter (20), Morris (19), and Facundo Campazzo (14) also finished in double-figures.