Phoenix Suns complete sweep of Denver Nuggets

The Phoenix Suns won the first three games of the Western Conference finals by a combined 56 points. Game 4 against the Denver Nuggets wasn’t a double-digit rout, but coach Monty Williams’ Suns finished off the hosts with a 125-118 verdict in the Mile High City.

Phoenix point guard Chris Paul had a banner performance (37 points on 14-for-19 shooting and seven assists) and backcourt mate Devin Booker poured in 34 points. Paul was 9-for-9 at the free-throw line, and Booker sank 10 of 11.

Denver was forced to deal with the loss of regular-season MVP Nikola Jokic in its most critical playoff game of the series. He was ejected with 3:52 to play in the third quarter after receiving a Flagrant 2 foul. After missing an 11-foot jumper, the Nuggets center was visibly irritated that he wasn’t awarded a trip to the foul line. Jokic then made a hard slap at the ball after Denver’s Mikal Bridges passed it to Cameron Payne. Instead of poking the ball away, Jokic’s long arms hit Payne in the face.

This led to Booker confronting Jokic, and both players receiving technical fouls. Officials reviewed the sequence of events and then assessed a Flagrant 2 on Jokic, leading to his ejection. He finished with 22 points and 11 rebounds.

The Phoenix Suns reached the Western Conference finals for the first time since 2010. Up next: Phoenix will meet the Los Angeles Clippers or Utah Jazz in the conference finals.

Paul shines in third quarter

The veteran floor leader shot 6-for-6 in the third quarter, giving his club a big 12-point boost. He had 25 second-half points.

Paul went on to score a season-high total in points.

Balanced effort for Phoenix Suns

Center Deandre Ayton contributed 12 points and seven rebounds, Bridges added 14 points and Jae Crowder scored nine points and grabbed 10 rebounds for the Phoenix Suns.

The visitors led 63-55 at halftime.

Nuggets standouts

Will Barton paced the Nuggets with 25 points, Michael Porter Jr. poured in 20, Monte Morris had 19 and Facundo Campazzo 14.

In the run-up to Game 4, Denver coach Michael Malone questioned his players desire to win. The remarks fueled heated discussions across social-media platforms.

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