The Denver Nuggets face a near-insurmountable deficit to the Phoenix Suns.
Behind a combined 55 points from Chris Paul and Devin Booker, the Suns took a 3-0 lead over the Nuggets on Friday night.
The night started out well for Nikola Jokic, who was presented with his first MVP award, and gave a speech to the home fans. Unfortunately, that nice moment only lasted a few minutes, because once the game started the Suns took control early.
Phoenix held a ten-point lead after the first quarter, and a fourteen-point lead heading into the fourth. It felt like the Nuggets were fighting from behind all night, and they never could quite sway momentum in their favor despite the home-court advantage at Ball Arena.
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A 30 point, 10 assist, 20 rebound night from Jokic wasn’t enough to put the Nuggets over the top. The loss of Jamal Murray for the season is finally rearing its ugly head for a Denver team that had such high expectations heading into the season.
With Murray leading the backcourt, who knows how far this Denver team could have gone? Now, they’re staring elimination in the face.
Even the easiest of puns had to be made.
Denver has high hopes for next season, even should their 2021 campaign fall short of its ultimate goal. The Nuggets remain young and, with Jokic and Murray both under 30 and under contract for the foreseeable future. There’s no reason they shouldn’t be in this position again next year.
That doesn’t make it any easier to process for Nuggets fans in the moment, though. Stay calm, Denver. Your time is coming.