The Denver Nuggets are one win away from their second Western Conference Finals trip since 2020. To do that, though, they have to win in Phoenix, something they failed to do in Games 3 and 4.
Catch the game tomorrow at 10:00 AM, Manila time.
HOME: Phoenix Suns (2-3)
Projected starting five:
- Chris Paul (out) / Cam Payne
- Devin Booker
- Kevin Durant
- Torrey Craig
- DeAndre Ayton
The Suns went back to their selves from the first two games of the series in Game 5. They lost, 118-102, with their stars doing their thing while the rest of the team provide minimal damage.
As per usual, Kevin Durant (26 points, 10/24 FGs) and Devin Booker (28 points, 8/19 FGs) did much of the scoring, though the latter was definitely not in his usual zone – he may be due for a bad game after all the crazy production he’s had. Both are fabulous offensive weapons, though, so expect them to have a couple of more high-scoring games.
The problem, however, is getting others to be more consistent. Durant and Booker are the only Suns to score in double digits in all of the games in this series, not even DeAndre Ayton, who’s had his great share of critics. Landry Shamet, who exploded for 19 points with six threes in Game 4, only had six points in Game 5. Maybe it’s because of Chris Paul’s absence?
Then again, they are back in their turf for tomorrow, where they have gone 2-0 in the series, so we shouldn’t be surprised if they extend it to a Game 7.
The Suns are averaging 109.2 PPG in the series.
AWAY: Denver Nuggets (3-2)
Projected starting five:
- Jamal Murray
- Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
- Michael Porter Jr.
- Aaron Gordon
- Nikola Jokic
The Nuggets have been of the best home teams all season long, and they flexed it yet again in Game 5. They executed their offense, scored 118 points with 32 assists, and basically shut down the Suns’ supporting cast once more.
Production was everywhere for Denver. With Nikola Jokic leading the way through a classic triple-double of 29 points, 13 rebounds, and 12 assists, Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. each added 19. Then, in the second unit, Bruce Brown busted through the gates with 25 points in 26 quality minutes. It’s pretty much the opposite of the Suns.
As we’ve said, though, they’ll have to do it and also secure a win on the road. Jokic and Murray’s numbers will be there, but the rest will have to be more on-point with their offense as well. The two scored 53 and 28 in the Game 4 loss, respectively, with other Nugget having more than 11.
The Nuggets are scoring 115.6 PPG in the series.
Handicap: The Suns (-3) win and cover the spread.
Over/Under: The total goes over 225.5