Nikola Jokic didn’t just crush his beef with Phoenix Suns Tuesday night, but he also led the Denver Nuggets to a big win at Ball Arena.
Jokić shot down 29 triple-double points to lead the Nuggets past the Suns 118-102 in Game 5 of the Western Conference Semifinal Series. The Nuggets now lead the series 3-2, and are just a win away from reaching the Conference Finals for the first time since 2020.
The Nuggets came out hot, and led by 11 points after a first quarter fueled by 14 points from Michael Porter Jr They had 17 fast-break points in this period as well, and held the Suns to just one field goal in the final two minutes of the quarter. However, Phoenix rallied just before halftime.
The Suns rallied to a 22-7 run, capped off by a huge Terrance Ross 3-pointer, to get their first lead of the game with just over 90 seconds left in the half. However, the Nuggets closed out the final stretch with a 5-1 drive, and despite only putting up 17 points in the period, took a three-point lead at the break. The game could have been linked, however Devin BookerHer reaction in the second was a bit late.
The Nuggets opened the third quarter with a score of 17-4, and the game was once again in their control for good. They pushed their lead to 20 points several times while shooting 14-of-20 from the field as a unit, and seemed to get really under the Suns’ skin in the final minute of the period.
With Booker at the free throw line to take a free throw on a foul, the other four Suns players gathered around coach Monty Williams on the court. Jokic f Bruce Brown They walked over to join the mob, and things escalated very quickly. in the end, Durant Brown received double technical fouls.
By then, the sun was too far away for that. The Nuggets cruised to an easy 16-point lead in the fourth quarter, which put them a win out of the Conference Finals.
Jokic finished with a 29-point triple-double with 13 rebounds and 12 assists. It was his 10th triple-a-playoff game, and the most ever scored by a center in NBA playoff history. Before the start of Game 5, too. The two briefly linked up during the pre-game warm-up in a far different meeting than when Jokic shoved Ichpia in the final minutes of a controversial Game 4 in Phoenix. The Suns took that game by five points to tie the series, and Jokić, who put up 53 points in that game, was fined $25,000.
Brown added 25 points off the bench for Denver in the win. Jamal Murray Porter each finished with 19 points, and Aaron Gordon Added 10 points. Nuggets shoot 50% both from the field and behind the arc.
Booker led the Suns with 28 points and six rebounds in the loss, and Durant finished with 26 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists. Phoenix was still without Chris Paul, who is still dealing with a groin injury he sustained earlier in the series. He was seen practicing in the Ball Arena before the match, but it is unclear when he will be able to return.
The sixth game of the series is set on a Thursday night in Phoenix.
This post will be updated with more information soon.