Chris Paul carved up Nuggets defense, Suns pull away in second half for Game 1 win

In the end, Chris Paul was selecting apart every relocation the Nuggets defense made. Change the pick-and-roll or simply leave a single protector on him and Paul assaulted, scoring 10 points in the very first 4 minutes of the 4th quarter. Double him and the ball rapidly swung to an open corner 3.

Denver had actually spent time for two-and-a-half quarters, leading that far into the video game, however Phoenix played more concentrated defense in the 2nd half, and the stops caused a couple of simple pails, and it was on — a 16-0 Suns run in the 3rd quarter altered the video game. The Nuggets were still just down 9 getting in the 4th, however then Paul triggered another 14-5, which was it. The Phoenix crowd was deafening, the Suns were rolling and called ballgame.

Chris Paul appeared like his vintage self — a frightening possibility for the Nuggets — and ended up with 21 points and 11 helps, looking every bit the point god, assisting the Suns retreat for a 122-105 Video game 1 win. Video game 2 is Wednesday night in Phoenix.

The greatest issue out of the video game for Denver is Michael Porter Jr.‘s back. Porter came out after halftime with a big wrap on his back, and while he played through it MPJ was not the same in the second half. Coach Michael Malone said postgame that Porter “tweaked” his back but should be good to go for Game 2. Denver needs him, but any injury to Porter’s back is a cause for issue (warnings about back injuries are what triggered him to drop in the draft).

Deandre Ayton played strong defense on Nikola Jokic all night, and while the Nuggets huge male still had 22 points he was 10-of-23 shooting and had simply 3 helps. It was as excellent a job as can be anticipated of holding the MVP-to-be in check.

The Suns were well balanced and effective. Mikal Bridges had 23 indicate lead the group on 8-of-12 shooting. Devin Booker had 21 points on 8-of-12 shooting, Ayton ended up with 20 on 9-of-13, and had one beast dunk.

Beyond Paul, the greatest issue for the Nuggets was their absence of depth in the backcourt due to injuries — no Jamal Murray, no Will Barton, no PJ Dozier. That lastly captured up with them. Monte Morris had a hard time in this one and was -28, Austin Rivers was much better however not a favorable force.

On the other hand, Phoenix’s depth was at the heart of their success, as it has actually been all season. All 5 beginners remained in double figures.

Denver has actually been a middle-of-the-pack protective group all season, however minus a couple of crucial gamers it is weaker on that end. Phoenix took complete benefit, got the shots they desired all night and knocked them down. Denver requires to discover some defense — and a method to maximize Jokic more — by Wednesday, or Chris Paul will have a repeat efficiency.

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Chris Paul sculpted up Nuggets defense, Suns retreat in 2nd half for Video game 1 win initially appeared on NBCSports.com

Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.