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Nuggets prepare for game 3 in Phoenix

The Denver Nuggets lead the Phoenix Suns 2-0 in the best-of-seven series.

PHOENIX, Arizona — The last time the Nuggets were in Phoenix for the playoffs, it wasn’t pretty. They were on their way to being swept 4-0.  

But now it’s the Nuggets who have a 2-0 series lead and Nikola Jokic doesn't believe in the ‘just win one of the two road games and get back to Denver’ theory, “Why one? We are gonna go play every game to win the game. Tomorrow is gonna be a must win for us. We have momentum. We are playing really good so why not?” 

Nuggets Head Coach Michael Malone knows how tough game 3 is going to be, “They’re aggression is going to be at an all-time high because they understand going down 3-0 is not ideal in a playoff series. 

Suns star Kevin Durant has been down 0-2 in playoff series five times in his career, so he knows what mindset is needed, “Try and take care of your business every possession at home. It’s one possession at a time. You can’t get everything back at once so just having that focus and that togetherness on every possession will lead to something solid.”  

Suns point guard Chris Paul left game two with a groin strain and his status for game 3 is in doubt, but the Nuggets know that if Phoenix won’t have Paul, they will rely even more on their other superstars. 

Credit: AP
Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (15) looks to pass the ball after pulling in a rebound in front of Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton, top, in the first half of Game 2 of an NBA second-round playoff series Monday, May 1, 2023, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

“More KD, more Booker probably,” said Jokic. “They’re gonna handle it. They’re gonna shoot for that and we’re prepared for that.” 

Malone stressed the same but is also looking within his own squad, “Ultimately it comes down to us and us being the best version of ourselves. And whether Chris Paul plays or not, that doesn’t change our mindset, our focus, and what we’re trying to do. 



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