The Suns have been eliminated from the playoffs for the second straight year, after losing to the Nuggets in Game 6 of the Western Conference Semifinals on Thursday night.
The Suns lost the game 100-125, with Kevin Durant scoring 23 points for the Nuggets and Cameron Payne adding 31 for Phoenix. Suns star Devin Booker had a poor outing, scoring just 12 points on 4-of-13 shooting.
The Suns were without two key players, Chris Paul and Deandre Ayton, due to injuries. Before Game 6, Booker had been averaging 35.9 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 7.1 assists per game in this year’s playoffs. Head coach Monty Williams revealed after the game that Booker had been playing through soreness.
This is the second year in a row that the Suns have been eliminated in the Western Conference Semifinals. Last year, they lost to the Dallas Mavericks in six games, with Game 6 also being played in Phoenix. In that game, the Mavericks won 123-90.
After Thursday’s loss, Williams was asked what it says about his team that they lost in a similar way two years in a row. “It’s hard to say,” he replied. “I mean, it’s two different groups. Last year’s team is totally different than this year’s team. Last year’s team was more of a ball movement, body movement team.
“This year we’re more pick and roll oriented and ISO oriented. So it’s two different situations altogether. That’s something that we need to take a look at to see what kinds of combinations of players we have to fit the style of play. But it’s hard to make assessments about those kinds of things after 20 minutes after a loss if that.”