NBA: Booker says Phoenix "having fun" as Suns tie franchise record
The Phoenix Suns won by double digits once again in the playoffs, leaving themselves one win from a series sweep over the Denver Nuggets.
The Phoenix Suns' Devin Booker said his team are keeping their "eyes on the prize" after drawing level with a franchise record with a sixth successive NBA playoff win on Friday, taking them a step closer to a series sweep over the Denver Nuggets.
Suns will win NBA playoff series 4-0 with victory over Nuggets on Sunday
Having won back-to-back outings at home already, the Suns travelled to Denver for Game 3, which saw Nuggets star Nikola Jokic presented with the NBA MVP award prior to tip-off.
However, the visitors ruined the celebrations with an impressive 116-102 triumph, putting them 3-0 up in the best-of-seven series. Game 4 takes place at the Ball Arena on Sunday.
Booker led the way with 28 points while back-court partner Chris Paul had 27, the duo helping the Suns win a fifth outing in row by a double-digit margin. No team in NBA history has managed such a feat having missed the playoffs in the previous season.
"We are having fun with it, playing for each other," Booker told the media. "When things get tough, we come together even more. Just little things that we have worked on and talked about through the regular season are coming true right now.
"We are still sticking with it – we have a close-out game on Sunday that we are looking forward to. We keep our eyes on the prize."
The @Suns have tied a franchise playoff record with 6 straight wins, with each of the last 5 coming by 10+ points.— Stats By STATS (@StatsBySTATS) June 12, 2021
Phoenix is the first team all-time with 5 straight double-digit playoff wins after missing the previous postseason.
Jokic scored 32 points in 40 minutes, as well having 20 rebounds and 10 assists. However, his stellar individual performance was not enough to help the Nuggets get back into the series, meaning they stand on the brink of elimination.
"We knew this was going to be an emotional game for them, what with Jokic being presented with the MVP trophy beforehand," Paul said in his post-game press conference.
"We just kept talking about trying to withstand their runs. That team plays hard the entire game, so it's a good win."
Paul lauds Ayton role in 27-point haul
Paul landed nine of his 16 shot attempts, including two of three from deep. He was quick to praise the efforts of Deandre Ayton, though, as the center played his part in a road triumph that has a place in the Western Conference Finals within touching distance.
"All those jump shots I hit towards the end of the game don't happen without him, without him setting the screen, setting the pace with rebounds," Paul said of Ayton, who had 10 points and 15 rebounds. "He's so selfless, man. We owe him a lot."
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