Colorado Springs, Colorado 2021-06-08 01:37:49 –
Phoenix (AP) — Within minutes of the start of the match on Monday night, Chris Paul was hit by his sick right shoulder and frowned for a moment. His movements were a bit tentative and his shots didn’t look right.
Then, “Point God” came back, as if it appeared out of nowhere.
One midrange jumper has fallen, then another. After the short floater found the net, a three-point shot flew home as the crowd roared. The 11-time All-Star looked as usual, followed by the other Sands, with Phoenix defeating the Denver Nuggets 122-105 in the first game of the Western Conference Semifinals.
“It was fun to get out and join,” Paul said. “The last series was tough, but I’m happy to help the team.”
Paul and his rejuvenated right shoulder finished with 21 points and 11 assists, and Mikal Bridges scored 23 points for Team High with eight out of twelve shots.
Sands dragged in most of the first half, 70-60 early in the third quarter, but recovered by the second half of the third quarter to take the lead. Devin Booker scored three points and Bridges added a driving layup to give them a 79-72 advantage.
They pushed the lead 88 to 79 and came in fourth. Paul played on his sick shoulders for most of his first round match against the Lakers, but created a series of midrange jumpers, pushing Sands up to 94-79 at 10:25.
“We felt that energy,” Booker said. “We felt passionate. He just made a play.”
A crowd of 16,319 worried about every move of the point guard.
“This crowd is crazy,” Paul said. “Nothing like that. That’s why we fought so hard to gain home-court advantage during the regular season.”
Paul’s bucket was the last exclamation mark for the 34-9 run that helped Phoenix control. Deandre Ayton scored 20 points, 10 rebounds and Booker 21 points.
It was amazing that the match didn’t reach the last few minutes. The three regular season meetings were all very close. One was decided by 3 points of regulation, the other was settled in overtime, and the other was double overtime.
The second match will take place on Wednesday in Phoenix.
“We did some good things, but obviously couldn’t keep it for 48 minutes,” said Denver coach Michael Malone. “If you want to win the second leg, I All of us need to be collective, better, more physical, and more disciplined. “
Nikola Jokić led the Nuggets with 22 points, but was cold when Sands ran the second half. Aaron Gordon added 18 points and Michael Porter Jr. added 15 points.
The match between Jokić and Eighton’s Bigman was in the first quarter, with two teams drawing 28 wins. Eighton gave Porter a strong dunk, and Jokić used his strength and positioning to shoot five out of six. I decided.
Denver led half-time 58-57. Jokić scored 15 points and 6 rebounds before the break, while Booker and Eighton scored 11 points each at Sands.
Cold shoulder gets hot
All eyes were on Paul, especially after Paul’s sick right shoulder was inadvertently hit by Denver’s point guard, Facundo Campazzo.
He looked uncomfortable for a moment, but slowly recovered. The 36-year-old scored a three-point shot in the second quarter and then a turnaround jumper.
According to ESPN Stats & Info, Paul is the third player to score at least 20 points and 10 assists in playoff games over the age of 36. Steve Nash and John Stockton were others.
Paul scored an average of 9.2 points per game against the Lakers in the first round, partly because he hurt his shoulder in the first half of the first round.
No sour grapes
Sands coach Monty Williams finished second in the NBA Coach of the Year after Tom Thibodeau of the New York Knicks.
This was the closest vote since this version of the vote was introduced 19 years ago. Thibodeau scored 43 first place votes, ending with a total of 351 points, while Phoenix’s Monty Williams actually got more first place votes (he had 45 votes), but ended with 340 points. ..
Williams wasn’t upset about finishing in second place, especially since the winner was Tibodo. The two worked together when they were assistant coaches for USA Basketball.
“It’s so cool to see people I work with win such an award,” Williams said.
Phoenix FLAVOR TOWN
Famous chef Guy Fieri was among the fans sitting on the courtside of the Phoenix Sands Arena. Jimmy Eat, a band formed in Mesa, Arizona in the 1990s and released a series of hits in the 2000s. World played in half time.
Appropriately, they played one of their signature songs, “The Middle.”
Nuggets: Guards Jamal Murray (left ACL surgery), Will Barton (right hamstrings), PJ Dozi (right adductor) did not play. Denver, at some point in the series, Barton and Dozier I hope it will be available.
Sands: Forward Abdel Nader (surgery on the right knee) did not play. … Sands forward Torrey Craig scored 9 points and 7 rebounds in 15 minutes, performing well against the former team. … Sands shot 64% from the field in the second half, including 46% in the 3-point range.
Rejuvenated Paul leads Suns over Nuggets 122-105 in Game 1 Source link Rejuvenated Paul leads Suns over Nuggets 122-105 in Game 1