Denver's Jamal Murray (left) and Phoenix's Jock Landale in the second round of the NBA basketball playoffs April 29, 2023.
New York – Denver basketball players entered the quarterfinals of the NBA playoffs with a clear win over Phoenix 125:107. The game's leading scorer was Jamal Murray, who scored 34 points, including 20 in the second half. Nikola Jokič, the most valuable player of the past two seasons, contributed 24 points and 19 rebounds to the victory. Aaron Gordon also made his mark, scoring 23 points.
Phoenix was not helped by Kevin Durant's 29 points and 14 rebounds or Devin Booker's 27 points. The Suns led after the first quarter 32:31 thanks to Durant's 15 points. In the second part, however, the star player managed only four points and the guests lost it 19:37. In the last quarter, Phoenix cut the deficit to 10 points, but then the opponent bounced back again.
Murray made 13 of 24 shots in the game, including six three-pointers out of ten. “I think some of his shots today were unstoppable,” Suns coach Monty Williams said.
Two years ago, Phoenix won a quarterfinal series over Denver 4-0, but that time Murray was out, nursing a sprained ankle. ligament in the knee. “The opponent was more physical, they played with more power. We have to play with much more effort next time and do a better job,” Williams added.
The biggest difference was in three-pointers, in which Denver outscored the opponent 16-7. The Suns also had 16 turnovers, including seven by Durant. “I have to be a lot more careful with the ball. More shooting than bad passes. Almost half of our turnovers went behind me. We'll be fine. We have to play with confidence, believe in shooting and we'll see in the next game,” added the two-time NBA champion and former league MVP .
The series will continue on Monday again at the court of the best team of the Western Conference in the regular season in Denver.
The result of the 2nd round of the NBA playoffs:
Western Conference – Game 1:
Denver – Phoenix 125:107.