DENVER — This was two NBA superstars exchanging strikes.
This was a crucial playoff matchup.
This was The Joker reigning King.
Nikola Jokic powered the Denver Nuggets to a 97-87 win over Devin Booker and the Phoenix Suns in Game 2 of the Western Conference semifinals Monday night at Ball Arena to take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.
"If you're going to win and beat good teams, you have to be an aggressive team," head coach Michael Malone said. "When you have two evenly-matched teams, the most aggressive team is going to win every night."
It was the first breakout performance of the postseason for the two-time NBA MVP, who finished with a game-high 39 points as well as 16 rebounds. Booker also tried to play hero for his team, pouring in a team-high 35 points.
Nuggets guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope also provided a spark for Denver by hitting all four of his 3-point attempts to finish with 14 points.
The series next shifts to Phoenix as the Suns host Denver for Games 3 and 4 beginning Friday night at 8 p.m. (MT) at the Footprint Center.
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