There is only one game on Wednesday’s NBA playoff slate but it figures to be a crucial one as the Denver Nuggets will try to even the series with the Phoenix Suns at one game apiece after losing by 17 points in the series opener.
Entering the series, the Nuggets had won sixteen of their last nineteen games against the Suns, including a pair of wins in Phoenix in January. The Suns overwhelmed the Nuggets 122-105 on Monday night, with Mikal Bridges scoring 23 points to lead a balanced attack for Phoenix, as all five Suns starters had 14+ points, and four of them scored at least 20.
The Suns outrebounded Denver, committed fewer turnovers, had fewer personal fouls, and outshot Denver from two-point range, three-point range, and the free throw line.
The Suns were a -5.5 favorite in Game 1 and won by 17 and will now be a -6 favorite in Game 2. The Nuggets have only been a six point underdog twice all year; they beat the Bucks by 31 points in Milwaukee as a +8 underdog in March and then were +8.5 ‘dogs against the Blazers in the regular season finale, where Denver’s starters barely played.
Phoenix managed to contain this year’s MVP Nikola Jokic, who shot just 10 of 23 from the floor for 22 points and grabbed only 9 rebounds, compiling a -13 plus-minus while on the court.
As if the Suns didn’t have enough momentum already after dispatching the Lakers and then winning Game 1 easily, Denver’s breakout star Michael Porter Jr. is now questionable after tweaking his back in Game 1.
The Suns remain a brutal team to play in Phoenix, having now gone 30-10 at Phoenix Suns Arena this season. The Nuggets are 24-16 on the road, covering in half of their road games. The Suns are also 46-17 outright as a favorite this season, while Denver is 8-12 as an underdog.
227 points were scored in Game 1 and the series figures to be high scoring the whole way through, as both teams are in the top ten in the league in all three major shooting percentages. The over/under is set at 222 for Game 2, after it was 221.5 for Game 1. Seven of the last eight Nuggets games have hit the over, while the Suns are 45-34 in over/unders this season.
Over 222 Points