The Denver Nuggets (59-31) are in action tonight for Game 4 against the Phoenix Suns (50-40) as they look to bounce back from their Game 3 loss on Friday night. The Nuggets maintained homecourt advantage in the series by winning the first two games of the series, and they’ll be looking to give themselves the 3-1 lead before they head home for Game 5.

For the Nuggets, they’ve seen a different person show up big on offense in each of the first three games of the series, and that shows that they have the firepower to hang with Phoenix. Their main issue right now seems to be on the defensive end where they’ve been getting absolutely torched by Devin Booker throught the first three games. 

For Phoenix, they’re going to live and die by the performance of Booker and Kevin Durant on the offensive end. Booker and Durant have scored a combined 201 points. The rest of the roster has combined for 114 points. Booker is averaging 36.3 points per game while shooting 60.3 percent from the field and 52.9 percent from 3-point range. If he cools off at all, the team is going to be in a very interesting spot, especially with Chris Paul still on the shelf.

The Essentials

Who: Denver Nuggets (59-31, 20-24 away) @ Phoenix Suns (50-40, 31-14 home)

When: 6:00 p.m. MST

Where: Footprint Center

How to watch/listen: Denver Stiffs does not condone piracy..unless it’s the romanticized 18th-century type. AltitudeTV where available. TNT. Show up in Phoenix. 92.5 FM KKSE Altitude Sports Radio

Expected Starting Lineups:

PHX: PG Cameron Payne, SG Devin Booker, SF Josh Okogie, PF Kevin Durant, C Deandre Ayton

DEN: PG Jamal Murray, SG Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, SF Michael Porter Jr., PF Aaron Gordon, C Nikola Jokic

Injuries: Chris Paul (groin) OUT

Three Things to Watch

Find a Plan for Booker

In Game 1, Booker scored 27 points while shooting 10-of-19 from the floor. In the last two games, Booker is 34-of-54, including a 20-of-25, and 5-of-8 from 3-point range, showing in Game 3 for 47 points. Letting a guy shoot 80 percent from the floor on 25 shots just can’t happen. One adjustment worth making is to force him to shoot more jump shots. He’s a great jump shooter, but he got to the rim just far too easily in Game 3.

Use Your Depth to Your Advantage

The Nuggets have more depth than Phoenix, and it’s not close, especially with Paul being out. Booker and Durant have played a ton of minutes, both have played 40 or more minutes in all eight games, aside from 36 minutes by KD in Game 1 of this series, early in this playoffs. Attacking them on both ends of the floor to wear them out will force them to wear down over the course of the game, or it will require Phoenix to put their reserves in more often. If that is the case, Denver has the depth advantage in that spot.

Take Care of the Ball

In the first half of Game 3, the Nuggets had eight turnovers. They had four in the entire second half, which is coincidentally when they started coming back. Denver needs to make the Suns work for their baskets, and turning the ball over with regularity is not the way to do it.