The Rundown: Suns dethrone Lakers, Nuggets close out Blazers

Published June 4, 2021, 2:50 PMRenee Ticzon

The Phoenix Suns and Denver Nuggets closed out their respective series on Friday (PHT) to advance to the Western Conference semifinals.


Nuggets 126, Trail Blazers 115
Suns 113, Lakers 100

What went down

The Los Angeles Lakers bid their season and their title defense bid goodbye after losing to the Phoenix Suns in Game 6.

The Phoenix Suns got going right out of the gates, hitting 5-of-6 from the field, including three 3s from Jae Crowder.

Devin Booker followed suit, scoring 22 points behind 6-of-6 from beyond the arc in the opening period. Booker’s individual performance was so good in the first quarter, he outscored the entire Lakers team by eight points, 22-14. 

Anthony Davis suited up for the game, but exited early after only playing five minutes, which was bad news for the Lakers who were down huge at the break.

In the third period, a different LA team emerged as the Lakers were able to cut the lead to 13. But the consistency and composure of the Suns worked to their advantage. The team avoided a total collapse thanks to Chris Paul’s leadership on the court. 

Even with the lead going down to 10 points with eight minutes remaining, the Suns kept their cool and continued to play efficiently, getting away with Game 6 and advancing to the second round.

Booker had an incredible night with 47 points, 11 rebounds, and three assists. Crowder had 18 points and eight rebounds. An injured Paul facilitated the Suns offense all throughout the game with eight points and 12 assists.

James had 29 points, nine rebounds, and seven assists in the loss. It was the first time in his career that he got eliminated from the playoffs in the first round.

Big-time baller

There’s a reason he’s a frontrunner in the MVP race. Nikola Jokic successfully brought the handicapped Denver Nuggets to the second round of the playoffs with 36 points, eight rebounds, and six assists in Game 7 against the Portland Trail Blazers. He was so effective, shooting 59.1 percent from the field, making 2-of-4 from downtown, and went perfect from the line.

What they said

The NBA community couldn’t get enough of Booker’s insane 22-point explosion in the first quarter.

His performance was so good that he even caught the attention of players from other sports leagues.

Did you see that?

Michael Porter Jr. was also on fire, pouring his own 22 points in the first quarter in Game 6 against the Portland Trail Blazers.