The Phoenix Suns will face the Denver Nuggets in Game 2 of their Western Conference semi-final series at the Phoenix Suns Arena on Wednesday night. The Suns took a 1-0 series lead with a 122-105 win in Game 1 on Monday.
It was a closely contested game until the end of the first half, but the Phoenix Suns picked up steam in the second to take a 65-47 lead and claim victory.
The Denver Nuggets will be eager to play with more intensity after head coach Michael Malone claimed the team was too "soft" in their approach.
Fixture - Denver Nuggets vs Phoenix Suns | Game 2, 2020-21 NBA Playoffs.
Date & Time - Wednesday, June 9th; 9:30 PM ET (Thursday, 7:00 AM IST).
Venue - Phoenix Suns Arena, Phoenix, AZ.
Denver Nuggets Preview
The Denver Nuggets failed to win their fourth successive Game 1 in a playoff series after their loss to the Phoenix Suns on Monday.
The Nuggets were up by 10 points early in the third quarter, but the Suns turned the tables around with a 19-2 run.
Nikola Jokic and co. failed to cope with the Phoenix Suns' intensity in that period, which proved to be the turning point of the contest.
The Denver Nuggets weren't attacking the paint as much and were sticking to jumpers, despite not being able to convert them. They were out-rebounded 41-44 and were able to get to the free-throw line just six times throughout the match.
The Nuggets did have a lot of positives to take from the game, though, especially in the first half. They went into the locker room with a one-point lead and did look active early on.
Nikola Jokic, Michael Porter Jr. and Facundo Compazzo combined for 38 of the Denver Nuggets' 58 points in the first half.
Key Player - Nikola Jokic
Nikola Jokic scored 22 points while registering nine rebounds and three assists in Game 1. He did not shoot a single free-throw all night.
Deandre Ayton seemed to get the better of Jokic in the match. The Denver Nuggets will be hoping that their MVP will be able to perform much better in Game 2.
Jokic is a smart player, and it will be hard to rule out a solid comeback from him in the next match. He will have to be at his best offensively as the Nuggets play much better with him scoring and creating opportunities for his teammates.
Denver Nuggets Predicted Lineup
Point Guard - Facundo Campazzo | Shooting Guard - Austin Rivers | Small Forward - Michael Porter Jr. | Power Forward - Aaron Gordon | Center - Nikola Jokic.
Phoenix Suns Preview
The Phoenix Suns displayed yet another solid team performance in Game 1, proving why they are one of the most lethal teams in the Western Conference this season.
All the players in their rotation seem to step up during various stages of a game, giving them a tremendous advantage over their opponents. All five of the Phoenix Suns' starters scored in double-digits, while four of them had 20-point games. They were offensively flawless in the second half and were often able to find scoring opportunities.
The Phoenix Suns had 30 assists on the night and shot 54% from the floor as a team. Head coach Monty Williams will be expecting more of the same from his team on Wednesday.
Key Player - Chris Paul
Chris Paul was the main architect of the Phoenix Suns' comeback win on Monday. He scored or assisted 20 of the Suns' 34 points in the fourth quarter and inspired the rest of the group to outperform the Denver Nuggets in that period.
Paul finished the night with 22 points and 11 assists. He will be key to the team's chances of going 2-0 up on Wednesday.
Phoenix Suns Starting Lineup
Point Guard - Chris Paul | Shooting Guard - Devin Booker | Small Forward - Mikal Bridges | Power Forward - Jae Crowder | Center - Deandre Ayton.
Denver Nuggets vs Phoenix Suns Prediction
The Phoenix Suns will be the favorites to win the next match, but only by a slender margin. There will be momentum and home support on their side, which will work heavily in their favor.
Nonetheless, the Denver Nuggets have been one of the most resilient sides in the 2020-21 NBA campaign and can't be taken for granted. They are one of the few teams that tend to make solid comebacks after the kind of defeat they suffered in the previous match.
Where to watch the Nuggets vs Suns Game 2
Game 2 of the Western Conference semi-finals between the Denver Nuggets and Phoenix Suns will be televised nationally on TNT. Fans can stream the game online on the NBA League Pass.
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