Devin Booker was elite, Chris Paul was sensational.
The Phoenix Suns are heading to the Western Conference Finals for the first time in 11 years after their 125-118 win over the Denver Nuggets; completing the series sweep.
The maturity and veteran leadership of Paul combined with Booker’s elite shooting arsenal have coalesced into a unique and more than effective backcourt for the Suns in their seventh straight playoff win, a franchise record.
“A couple years ago they were writing me off. This ain’t about me. It’s about us,” Paul said.
Billed as the ‘Point God,’ CP3 shut the door on father time as he became the oldest NBA player to ever record 25+ points and 10+ assists in a playoff series. The 36-year-old also dished out 41 assists in the series, while only turning the ball over 5 times.
Paul dragged defender after defender off a ball screen to his sweet spot – the right elbow – putting up a high-arching middy while fading to the baseline. The shoulder injury he suffered in the first round seems to have subsided as Paul shot 22-for-34 from the midrange during the series.
The barrage of mid-range jumpers allowed Paul explode for 37 points, 7 assists and 2 steals while shooting 14-for-19 in the Suns 125-118 win. Booker poured in 34 points and 11 boards.
After knocking out the defending champions (the Los Angeles Lakers) in the first round, the Suns dismantled a hampered Nuggets squad that lost reigning NBA MVP Nikola Jokic in the third quarter to a Flagrant 2.
Jokic becomes the first MVP to be swept in a playoff series since Magic Johnson in 1989.
The Nuggets sorely missed their star point guard Jamal Murray as the rest of the team grappled with making up his production on the scoreboard. However, by the end of what turned out to be a hard-fought contest, Will Barton scored 25 points, while Michael Porter Jr., added 20, Monte Morris dropped in 19 and Facu Campazzo added 14 points off of the bench.
It just wasn’t enough.
The Suns will get more than a weeks worth of rest and hold home court advantage for the first two games of the Western Conference Finals, where they will face either the Los Angeles Clippers or the Utah Jazz.