Phoenix felling a playoff team without Devin Booker in the lineup is a story with which Suns fans are mostly unfamiliar.
Predictably, this narrative didn’t play out on Saturday night in the Valley, but man was it close.
Denver got 29 points and 22 rebounds from Nikola Jokic as the Nuggets needed a pair of overtimes to squeeze by Phoenix 120-112. Denver wins the season series 2-1.
It was very nearly a statement win for the Suns. In regulation Deandre Ayton made a spectacular block on Denver’s second to last possession protect a one-point lead. A Chris Paul jumper later, Jamal Murray hit a step back triple as time expired to send the game into overtime.
It was time for Suns theatrics in OT number one. After Deandre Ayton fouled out with 17 points and 13 rebounds, Jae Crowder buried a three-pointer of his own with less than a second remaining to force a second overtime.
Then the Suns ran out of gas.
No Book, No Ayton, and no Cam Johnson, who departed the game in extra time with discomfort of some sort, left the Suns without with the weapons to hang. Denver outscored Phoenix 14-6 in the second overtime.
Given the circumstances, it was an impressive effort from your Suns who fell to 8-7 on the season. Chris Paul led the way with 21 points and 13 assists. Phoenix got another 21 from Crowder and 19 from Johnson.
The Suns have now lost three of four since missing three straight home games due to COVID precautions. They’ll be in action next on Wednesday when they host the Oklahoma City Thunder.