In their first win of the series against the Nuggets, the Suns were led by Devin Booker’s 47 points and Kevin Durant’s 39 points. After the game, Booker spoke about his lifelong dedication to playing in these moments, saying “It’s all I know, this is all I dreamed of as a kid.”
Booker had an impressive shooting night, going 20 for 25 from the field and sinking 5 of 8 three-pointers, while Durant struggled at times, shooting 12 for 31 from the field but making 14 of 16 free throws.
The Suns took the lead in the fourth quarter and held on to secure the win, with Durant contributing crucial points and assists. Nikola Jokic of the Nuggets finished with a triple-double of 30 points, 17 assists, and 17 rebounds, while Jamal Murray scored 32 points and Michael Porter Jr. added 21 points and 12 rebounds.
Denver coach Michael Malone criticized his team’s defense against Booker, stating that it was “unacceptable” and that they needed to improve. The Suns made some changes to their lineup, with Cameron Payne starting in place of Chris Paul, who was sidelined with a strained groin. Terrence Ross, Jock Landale, and TJ Warren were also given more minutes off the bench.
Despite a tough night for starting center Deandre Ayton, who was benched in favor of Landale, Booker remained supportive and encouraged Ayton to stay focused and maintain his energy and effort.
The Suns will look to even the series in Game 4 on Sunday in Phoenix.