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Suns, Booker Take Early Lead Over Nuggets

© Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

There is a must-need win looming for the Phoenix Suns on Friday. The Suns are facing an 0-3 deficit against the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference Semifinals.

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Without a win tonight, the Suns’ season would be all but sealed, as the feat of rallying from being down 0-3 has never been done.

Phoenix was able to hang around in the first quarter due to Devin Booker‘s scoring efforts.

Booker became infectious in the second half though, helping Phoenix take a lead over Denver at halftime.


Booker Carries the First Quarter

Without Booker taking over the first quarter, the Suns could’ve been facing a tough uphill battle. Yet a 18-point quarter from Booker helped ease many of the woes from an offensive standpoint.

The 26-year old went for an efficient 8-for-10 from the field, shooting 2-for-3 from three-point range. He also managed to get two steals during the quarter.

Aside from Booker, the numbers simply weren’t there for his co-star. Kevin Durant was 1-of-7 from the floor, only scoring three points during the quarter. The Suns as a unit did shoot the ball particularly well above 50 percent. Most of that, however, was attributed to Booker’s contributions.

Booker continued to scorch the Earth in the second half, ending the half with 27 points and three assists. He scored or assisted on nearly half the Suns’ points.

Durant’s Cold Start

Durant was able to shake off a rather forgettable first quarter performance in the second quarter. He didn’t find his shooting spark, but he was able to force his way to the free-throw line.

Durant went 11-of-12 from the charity stripe in the first half, accounting for most of his points in the half. As he saw his shot wasn’t falling, he continued to attempt contributing in other ways. He recorded five assists for the half also.

Being able to affect the game in more than one way will come handy in the playoffs. Still, the Suns will need Durant’s scoring prowess to shut the Nuggets down in the second half.

If not, someone other than Booker will have to look assist in taking over.

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