Chris Paul is a 36-year-old man who can still put together an NBA point guard’s version of a virtuoso performance: Fifteen assists, no turnovers and it led to another blowout playoff victory for his rolling Phoenix Suns.
“I feel good,” Paul said. “I feel really good.”
The ageless Paul added 17 points, Devin Booker had 18 points and 10 rebounds and Phoenix routed the Denver Nuggets 123-98 on Wednesday night to take a 2-0 lead in the Western Conference semifinals.
Deandre Ayton had 15 points and 10 rebounds, and Mikal Bridges added 16 points for the balanced Suns in their fifth straight victory.
Paul was particularly impressive and it appears his ailing right shoulder — which greatly limited his play against the Los Angeles Lakers in the first round — isn’t much of a problem anymore. The 11-time All-Star had 21 points and 11 assists in Game 1.
Nikola Jokic had 24 points and 13 rebounds for Denver, a day after getting the NBA’s Most Valuable Player award. But the Nuggets couldn’t find anyone else to score consistently, leaving them reeling going back to Denver for Game 3 on Friday night.
“This was an embarrassing performance for myself all the way to the last player,” Denver coach Michael Malone said. “We are walking out here with our heads held down and rightfully so. There was a reason that their crowd was yelling ”Suns in four!” and they are calling for a sweep because if we play like this in Denver, this is going to be a really quick series.”
Later, Malone added he felt the Nuggets “quit tonight, which is something that you never want to see.”