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Nuggets roll past Suns in Game 1

A dominant second quarter powered Denver to a 125-107 win over Phoenix in the Western Conference semifinal opener Saturday night.

DENVER — New round, same dominant Nuggets.

Denver rolled past the Phoenix Suns, 125-107 at Ball Arena on Saturday night to claim Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals in convincing fashion.

Jamal Murray led the way for the Nuggets with a game-high 34 points, knocking down six of his 10 3-point shots.

"Jamal just continues to add to the legend of playoff Jamal Murray," head coach Michael Malone said.

"He's a bad man. Jamal Murray lives for this. The last two years have been tough not having him...When Jamal Murray is healthy -- and locked and loaded -- we know what he's capable of. It's been fun to watch him perform at the level he's been performing at."

Nikola Jokic and Aaron Gordon added 24 and 23 points, respectively, and the Joker also pulled down 19 rebounds in his double-double performance.

After a dominant second quarter in which they outscored the Suns 37-19, the Nuggets took a comfortable 17-point lead into halftime and never looked back.

Murray, who has missed the last two postseasons due to injury, fired up the crowd with an explosive fourth quarter that helped Denver secure the win.

"Those moments you dream of as a kid, reenact those in the back yard," Murray said. "I've been waiting for a long time to be back and healthy...Make the most of those moments."

Phoenix was led by Kevin Durant's team-high 29 points and another 27 from Devin Booker.

Game 2 will tip off at 8 p.m. (MT) Monday night at Ball Arena.



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