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Suns Lose Vs. Nuggets, Eliminated in Game 6

© Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The writing appeared to be on the wall for the Phoenix Suns after the first quarter. The Denver Nuggets took advantage of a slow start for Phoenix and continued to capitalize on it.

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For a sink-or-swim scenario, the Suns were without both Deandre Ayton (ribs) and Chris Paul (groin). With Ayton’s news, the thought of extending the series to Game 7 became uninviting.

The gaps that the Suns seemed to narrow in Game 4 rose to the surface once more. Nikola Jokić also appeared unstoppable, ending the contest with 32 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists. As a result, the Suns finished their season with a 125-100 Game 6 loss at the hands of the Nuggets.

Third Quarter Comeback

After the first half concluded, Suns fans felt the unsentimental memories of Game 7 against the Dallas Mavericks last season creep in.

Denver had concluded a 30-point lead at halftime, with the Suns having no reasonable solution for Nikola Jokić.

Kevin Durant had an unpleasant showing in the first half. With not much left expected after the slow start, he was able to turn up his intensity in the third quarter. Durant scored 11 points in the third quarter, shooting 5-of-6 from the floor.

Still, even after the third quarter, Phoenix was far out of reach of mounting a comeback. The Suns outscored the Nuggets 25-22 in the quarter. Be that as it may, Denver was working with a 30-point lead at halftime to soften the blow.

Without two of the main starters, having Durant finish the game with only 23 points on 8-19 shooting wouldn’t be enough.

Depth Issues Haunt Phoenix

The thought of adding Durant to the Suns’ roster overshadowed underlying issues for Phoenix. Depth was, and had always been, a concerning flaw.

For most of the regular season, the Suns were able to mask it through performances from Devin Booker. Yet even when Booker had impeccable nights, it became obvious that Phoenix had glaring gaps in talent on the bench.

Fast forward to both Terrance Ross and T.J. Warren, two key bench additions, it was a letdown in them being ineffective in an elimination game. Both players combined for of shooting from the field.

Damion Lee didn’t touch the floor for most of the game, though he’d became a reliable scoring option during the regular season.

Cameron Payne appeared to be the only true reserve to step up to the plate. Still, he spent his time as a starter once again with Paul out.

Going into the offseason, the Suns have a myriad of concerns to fix with the roster. Both Booker and Durant will surely be untouchable, with the remainder of the roster being up for grabs.

Of course, head coach Monty Williams likely won’t be excused from criticism as well. His inability to adjust well in both series this postseason has received fair backlash.

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