LOS ANGELES, CA – DECEMBER 17: Phoenix Suns Center DeAndre Ayton (22) looks on during a NBA game between the Phoenix Suns and the Los Angeles Clippers on December 17, 2019 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire)
- The Phoenix Suns are three-point road favorites over the Denver Nuggets on Sunday night in Game 4 of the Western Conference semifinals at Ball Arena
- The Suns’ Chris Paul is averging 21.7 points, 11.3 assists and 5.7 rebounds a game in the series
- A look at Game 4 of the Suns-Nuggets series can be found below with a prediction
The Phoenix Suns will try to complete a four-game series sweep of the host Denver Nuggets when they meet at 8 pm ET Sunday in Game 4 of the Western Conference semifinals at Ball Arena.
The Suns have won six games in a row since losing Games 2 and 3 to the Los Angeles Lakers in the first round are favored on Sunday. Phoenix beat the Nuggets 116-102 in Game 3 on Friday in Denver as two-point underdogs to take a 3-0 lead in this series.
The Nuggets have lost three games in a row for only the second time this season. They face the daunting task of trying to become the first team in NBA history to come back from a 3-0 deficit to win a playoff series.
Suns vs Nuggets Game 4 Odds
|Team||Moneyline||Spread at FanDuel||Total|
|Phoenix Suns||-152||-3 (-110)||Over 222.5 (-110)|
|Denver Nuggets||+128||+3 (-110)||Under 222.5 (-110)|
Odds as of June 12
The Suns report no short-term injuries.
The Nuggets’ Michael Porter is playing through lower back soreness and made just 5 of 13 field attempts while scoring 15 points in Game 3. He is shooting 35.9% (14 of 39) from the field and 37.5% (9 of 24) from three-point range in the series after having percentages of 54.2 and 44.5 in the regular season.
Suns vs Nuggets Projected Lineups
|Chris Paul||PG||Facundo Campazzo|
|Devin Booker||SG||Austin Rivers|
|Mikal Bridges||SF||Michael Porter Jr.|
|Jae Crowder||PF||Aaron Gordon|
|De’Andre Ayton||C||Nikola Jokic|
Paul is The Point God
Devin Booker scored 28 points and had a team-high +19 in Game 3 but Chris Paul stole the show for the Suns.
The 36-year-old “Point God” had 27 points, eight assists, six rebounds and three steals. In the series, Paul is averaging 21.7 points, 11.3 assists and 5.7 rebounds while shooting 57.5% (23 of 40) from the field and 75.0% (6 of 8) on three-pointers.
THE SUNS TAKE A 3-0 LEAD!
Final: Suns 116, Nuggets 102
Devin Booker: 28 Pts, 6 Reb, 4 Ast
Chris Paul: 27 Pts, 8 Ast, 6 Reb, 3 Stl
Jae Crowder: 14 Pts, 4 Ast, 3 Reb
Deandre Ayton: 10 Pts, 15 Reb pic.twitter.com/fXR741ZjqQ
— Suns Nation (@SunsNationNBA) June 12, 2021
In the fourth quarters of the three games, Paul has made 12 of 13 of his field goal attempts and all four three-point tries to go with eight assists and no turnovers. He is showing no signs of the shoulder injury that limited him against the Lakers in the first round.
Jae Crowder added 14 points and continued his hot shooting.
Since going 2 for 20 on field goal tries in the first three games in the first round, Crowder has shot 48.9% (22 of 45) beyond the arc in six games while averaging 13.8 points. He also has made at least three threes in all six games.
Jae Crowder is averaging 1 meme face per game in the Playoffs. pic.twitter.com/6EclH3j6ld
— David Kevin (@theIVpointplay) June 12, 2021
De’Andre Ayton added 10 points and 15 rebounds, giving him double-doubles in all three games of the series.
The Suns shot 53.1% (43 of 84) from the field and 46.2% (12 of 26) from beyond the arc.
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No Help for Joker
Nikola Jokic had a historic performance in Game 3, but it still wasn’t enough to keep the Nuggets from losing by 14 points.
The NBA MVP had 32 points, 20 rebounds and 10 assists. He became just the third player in the NBA history with a 30-20-10 game in the playoffs, joining Wilt Chamberlain and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
That came after Jokic received is MVP award before the game.
Nikola Jokic receives his MVP trophy 🃏💪
“This trophy is not mine. It’s all of these guys over here, so I wanted [you to cheer] for them.” pic.twitter.com/u4HpnkqSFH
— ESPN (@espn) June 12, 2021
Jokic’s 72 combined points, rebounds and assists were his most since April 19 when he had 47 points, 15 rebounds and eight assists – 70 total – against the Memphis Grizzlies.
The other four Nuggets’ starters managed just 30 points, though.
Monte Morris came off the bench to score 21 points after totaling just five in the first two games of the series while shooting 2 of 17. Will Barton had 14 points and seven rebounds in reserve duty in his second game back after missing 20 in a row with a hamstring injury.
Monte Morris drains a 3 off the assist from Paul Millsap#Nuggets pic.twitter.com/M7ImfVeyqQ
— Joel Rush (@JoelRushNBA) June 12, 2021
Aaron Gordon made just 2 of 10 shots from the field while finishing with just four points in 36 minutes.
Suns Have Turned Tide
The Nuggets won two of three games from the Suns and the regular season and 15 of 17 matchups with Phoenix prior to this season.
However, the Suns have won all three games of this series by an average margin of 16.7 points. There are no signs of that trend changing in Game 4.
The Pick: Suns -3 (-110)
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John Perrotto has been covering and writing about sports for various outlets for over 40 years. His work has appeared in the likes of USA TODAY, ESPN.com, SI.com, Forbes.com, The Associated Press, Baseball Digest, and more. John is based out of Beaver Falls, PA.