Suns sweep Nuggets; Bucks catch Nets
Chris Paul

Suns sweep Nuggets; Bucks catch Nets

(Agence France-Presse) - June 15, 2021 - 12:00am

LOS ANGELES – Chris Paul and Devin Booker combined for 71 points as the Phoenix Suns completed a four-game sweep of the Denver Nuggets on Sunday to reach the NBA semifinals for the first time in 11 years.

Paul scored 37 points and Booker finished with 34 points and 11 rebounds as the Suns beat the Nuggets, 125-118, to capture the Western Conference second round series 4-0.

“I have been waiting for this for a very long time,” said Booker. “A lot people say I haven’t played meaningful basketball. This is my time to prove it.”

The Suns used a balanced attack to overpower the Nuggets and league MVP Nikola Jokic, who was slapped with a flagrant foul and ejected from the game in the third quarter. Jokic finished with 22 points and 11 rebounds.

“They beat us. They whipped our butts,” said Jokic. “We have to hold our heads up. If someone beats you, accept it and try to get better. The whole season was great until (the) last four games.”

The Suns will play either the Los Angeles Clippers or the Utah Jazz for a spot in the NBA finals.

“We showed what you can do when you come together as a team,” said Paul.

Mikal Bridges scored 14 points, Deandre Ayton had 12 points and Jae Crowder had 10 rebounds for the Suns.

Will Barton had 25 points, Michael Porter scored 20, Monte Morris finished with 19 and Facu Campazzo 14 in the loss.

Elsewhere, Giannis Antetokounmpo poured in 34 points and grabbed 12 rebounds as the Milwaukee Bucks evened their Eastern Conference second round series with a 107-96 rout of the Brooklyn Nets, who lost Kyrie Irving to an injury.

Antetokounmpo delivered his best performance of the postseason, shooting 14-of-26 from the field and scoring 12 points in the third quarter for the Bucks, who have won two straight at home to level the best-of-seven series at two games each.

“This says a lot,” Antetokounmpo said. “I am really proud of this team. We keep playing together. We put ourselves in a position to win two more games.”

Game 5 is Tuesday in Brooklyn.

Khris Middleton chipped in 19 points as the Bucks made 44.3 percent of their shots and hit 16 threes in front of a pandemic-limited crowd of 16,000 at Fiserv Forum.

Their improved perimeter shooting comes after they had managed to make only 22 percent from three-point range in the first three games.

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